Thursday, February 13, 2020

Pretium Resources: short memory

This post requires correction/clarification.

There are at dozens of press reports that state the mining accident happened at the Brucejack Mine. See here for example. 

However some reports (and some supporters of the company) state the accident happened to a mine worker at the mining camp.

This is supported by the production statistics - which did not show a major interruption at the time.

The company has never met it grade requirements - or at least the grade as outlined in the original mining plan. But it has usually (if not always) met the tonnage plan (as in tonnes mined).

There was no large interruption.

Further correction. The 2018 first conference call explicitly says the accident happened at camp and not at the mine.

The old post

I am not going to comment about the results of Pretium Resources. But the first few sentences of the conference call made me sick. To quote:

Joseph J. Ovsenek CEO, President & Director 
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our 2019 results and 2020 outlook call. Participating on the call with me today is our CFO, Tom Yip. 
First and foremost, I again want to thank everyone at Brucejack, Smithers and here in Vancouver for their hard work that contributed to another profitable quarter. Our Brucejack Mine has proven itself to be a safe and a consistently profitable mine ever since achieving commercial production 2.5 years ago. 

Now mining accidents happen. Mining is a dangerous profession.

But Pretium had a death at the mine less than two years ago. Which of course proves the mine is "safe".

Maybe this is a definition of "safe" that I was not previously familiar with.

If you die working for these guys they will soon forget it and forget you. And of course declare your workplace to be "safe and consistently profitable".



J said...

The company responsible was fined just a few months ago:

"Tsetsaut Ventures has been fined $159,812 for a worker fatality.

This firm was providing operational support at a mine at Brucejack Lake, B.C. A new worker in a machine shop was inflating a tire on a rim assembly when the rim assembly blew apart."

dearieme said...

Long ago I worked on a large petrochemicals site. We had few deaths over the years. The main recent cause of death, I was told, was that young men without a suitable licence would borrow a friend's motor bike at lunch break to zoom around on company roads. Occasionally one would go under a big chemical tanker lorry.

Was the site dangerous? (a) Yes, if all you do is count corpses, or (b) No, if it's the dangers of manufacturing with flammable, combustible, and toxic stuff that matters to you.

Proposed solutions included (i) Ban motorbikes - rejected as intolerably illiberal, or (ii) Ban young men - this met with more approval.

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