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METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY - On August 6, 2000, the 7-year-old son of the mine operator was fatally injured at an open pit gemstone mine. The victim had gone to the mine with his father to dig quartz crystals. The boy was standing near his father at the base of a 13 foot highwall. The boy was knocked to the ground and his head struck a rock when a section of the highwall sloughed off.

Fatal Alert Bulletin Photo

Best Practices

  • Mine operators should implement methods to scale highwalls that maintain slope stability.

  • Loose material should be sloped to the angle of repose or stripped back 10 feet from the top of the pit wall.

  • Mine operators should restrict the activities of visitors and non employees to eliminate their exposure to potential hazards.
  • More Information E-mail Suggestion for Accident Prevention Program Submit your own suggestion for a remedy to prevent this type of accident in the future.
    Please specify if you wish your submission to be anonymous or whether your name may be used. Please include the year of the fatality and the fatality number.

    This is the 31st fatality reported in calendar year 2000 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries. As of this date in 1999, there were 32 fatalities reported in these industries. This is the first fatality classified as Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall in 2000. There was one Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall fatality in the same period in 1999.


    The information provided in this notice is based on preliminary data ONLY and does not represent final determinations regarding the nature of the incident or conclusions regarding the cause of the fatality.

    For more information:
    Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report