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Miner extraction efforts nearing an end in Sudbury

Vale says majority of workers stranded underground have now returned to surface
Vale's Totten Mine is located about 40 kilometres west of Sudbury in the community of Worthington.

Thirty-five of the 39 Vale workers who were stranded underground at a Sudbury mine over the course of two days have now reached surface.

The company provided an update on extraction efforts taking place at Totten Mine, about 40 kilometres west of the city, in a news release issued late on Monday afternoon.

Vale said the 35 workers exited the mine through a secondary egress ladder system after the elevator was rendered inoperable.

Reports suggest the elevator shaft was damaged after a bucket came loose and became lodged in the shaft.

No injuries have been reported in the incident.

The 39 miners headed to several refuge stations between 900 metres and 1,200 metres below ground, meaning some had to climb considerable distances – in some instances 2,500 feet – to reach a point where they could be transported to the surface.

A team of 58 responders from Vale's Mine Rescue team and Ontario Mine Rescue have been overseeing extraction efforts, providing communications and support to employees.

The company said immediate on-site medical support was made available to all employees upon reaching service, and that workers arrived on surface "healthy and eager to return home to family.” 

“Vale is working with its medical partner to conduct individual on-site assessments and monitoring of employees at pre-selected locations during their ascent,” the company said in the release.

“Additional physical health checks are also conducted once employees are on surface. Our Critical Incident Stress Management team is also offering mental health support to employees as they arrive on surface.”

The company said it would provide an update once the final four employees had arrived above ground.