Aurizon suspends operations at Quebec mine after death

TORONTO, March 25 Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:58pm EDT

TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Aurizon Mines Ltd said on Monday that it had suspended underground operations at its Casa Berardi gold mine in Quebec after a contractor was killed in a vehicle accident in the mine.

Aurizon halted operations for the day and night shift, and said it is working with provincial police and workplace regulators to determine the cause of the Monday morning accident.

It is the third death at the mine since 2006. All three people killed were employees of Dumas Contracting Ltd.

Aurizon has faced previous investigations by the Workplace Health and Safety Commission of Quebec over the deaths and a serious accident at the mine, which is about 800 km (500 miles) northwest of Montreal.

The small Canadian gold miner is the target of a C$796 million ($779.02 million) takeover by Hecla Mining Co, which beat out a rival bid from Alamos Gold Inc in order to gain control of the Casa Berardi mine.

The mine produced 163,845 ounces of gold in 2011.

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