A worker at an Alaskan gold mine died in an accident, according to Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp., which owns and operates the facility.
A spokesman for Coeur d'Alene Mines said the victim, Joe Tagaban, 30, was underground at the time of the fatal mishap, which happened on Wednesday. Tagaban had been with the Idaho-based company for more than one year.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Joe Tagaban. He was a respected and well liked employee at Kensington and he will be greatly missed, said Mitchell J. Krebs, CEO of Coeur d'Alene Mines. Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to Joe's family and his co-workers.
The company said the accident took place in an underground stope on the 1,260 foot level where Tagaban had been working. The accident is under investigation and the Mine Safety and Health Administration has been notified.
The Kensington mine, located about 45 miles north of Juneau, the state capital, began production in June 2009. There are more than 200 workers employed at the mine, which produces about 120,000 ounces of gold a year, a mine spokesman told Reuters.
The news agency said the Kensington accident is the second mining death this year for Alaska. A worker at the Fort Knox open-pit gold mine near Fairbanks was killed in a fall in June. The Mine Safety and Health Administration tallied 14 U.S. mine deaths during the first half of this year, eight of them in coal mines, an all-time mid-year low.