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Revett rock slide kills one

| August 1, 2007 12:00 AM

By ERIKA KIRSCH Western News Editor

A miner was killed by a rock slide at the Revett Mine in Troy on Monday morning.

Mike Ivins, a mine mechanic who was working in the area along with other mining crew members, became trapped in a vehicle. Ivins did not survive the accident.

According to Revett Minerals Chief Financial Officer Scott Brunsdon, there was an isolated rock fall at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Monday. The cause of the rock slide is unknown.

Ivins was trapped in a vehicle during the rock slide, according to Revett Minerals Vice President of Operations Carson Rife.

Certified mine rescue teams worked throughout the day and night to reach the miner. Central Mine Rescue from Osburn, Idaho was standing by as a back up crew, Rife said.

The rescue personnel carefully removed materials from the rock fall area, and located the mechanic's vehicle at 7 p.m. Monday in the southeast corner of the mine.

There were several men in the area when the accident occurred and two other men sustained minor injuries. They were treated and released from St. John's Lutheran Hospital, Rife added. All other members of the mining crews have been accounted for.

The mine has been evacuated and mine operations have ceased, according to a statement released from Revett Minerals President and Chief Executive Officer William Orchow. Proper authorities and response organizations were immediately notified. The mine is located south of the town of Troy in northwestern Montana.

At 5 p.m. on Monday, Paul Kukay, Randy Nixon and Don Cofield were entering the mine. Firemen were also allowed into the site.

Revett Minerals offers sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Ivins. "This is devastating," Orchow said in a press release. "Miners are a close-knit group and all of us are touched by Mike's death. More importantly, our hearts and prayers go out to Mike's family and friends. He was a truly special man."

Scanner traffic indicated Genesis Inc. mill and shop workers were allowed to work their shifts, but mine workers were not.

The underground mine produces an average of 4,500 tons of ore per day. Two million ounces of silver and 17 million pounds of copper are recovered per annum at the mine.

Genesis Inc. Mine is owned by Revett Minerals of Spokane, Wash. The mine was operated by American Smelting and Refining Corporation (ASARCO) between 1981 and 1993. Revett Minerals acquired the mine in 1999. Rehabilitation of the mine began in June 2004 and the first production was in December 2004.