Fortescue interrupts its operations at the Pilbara site after the death of an employee …

(Adds Fortescue’s confirmation of a death)

September 30 (Reuters) – Fortescue Metals Group Ltd said Thursday that an employee died after a ground collapse at its Solomon Hub site in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, forcing it to temporarily suspend mining operations at project.

The world’s No. 4 iron ore miner announced the suspension earlier today, citing a “significant incident” at the site.

In a brief update, Fortescue confirmed a death and said it was working with all relevant authorities on the matter.

He had previously said operations at Solomon Hub had been suspended pending a full investigation and that he was working with Western Australia Police and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Security.

The state’s mining department told Reuters it was aware of a major incident at the mine site, but did not release further details.

The mining department will send safety inspectors from Perth to the scene, who are expected to arrive in the evening, he added.

The Solomon Hub, an isolated mining site in Pilbara, includes the Firetail, Kings Valley and Queens Valley mines, which together have a production capacity of 75 million tonnes of iron ore per year.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru and Sonali Paul in Melbourne; editing by Rashmi Aich)

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