Mill Fire at Round Mountain: Recognizing Our Emergency Workers

But for the efforts of our firefighters – most of whom are our employees – losing the entire mill in the fire was a very real possibility. I could not be more proud or impressed by this group of people.(Randy Burggraff, Vice-President & General Manager, Round Mountain)

After a serious fire in October, the mill at Round Mountain is expected to be back up and running by March.

A “Code Blue” rang out at Round Mountain at 8:30am on October 1st. Signalling an onsite emergency – anything from a fire to a rock fall, to an injury or a rescue – a Code Blue is any event that requires all mining be immediately suspended, and all traffic stopped to enable the movement of emergency personnel to the scene.

On October 1st, 2014, Round Mountain’s Code Blue signalled a fire in the processing mill – the top floor was filling with smoke, and a fire was moving quickly.

The site’s emergency response team evacuated employees from the burning building, and additional emergency responders were dispatched. The crews worked for four hours in intense heat to extinguish the flames.

It was chaotic at first,” says Mill Operator and Volunteer Firefighter Jason Cooley. “But we knew no one was in the building, and we could concentrate on putting out the fire, and saving the structure.

In December, RMGC hosted a lunch event and awards presentation to thank the members of the Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, Emergency Response Team, and the county ambulance crew for their courageous and skillful response.

Jason Cooley (Mill Operator, pictured centre in black hat), with other members of the Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, Emergency Response Team, and county ambulance crew at the site’s lunch event and awards presentation

These emergency crews made the best of a bad situation,” said RW Carver (Health, Safety & Training Manager, Round Mountain). “Without them, we may have lost our mill.

Reconstruction work is underway, and the mill is expected to be re-commissioned in March. Production continues uninterrupted from the site’s heap leach facilities.

Re-construction at Round Mountain is well underway. The first two images below show the new secondary distributor deck structural steel, tertiary distributors and screen area. The last two images show the cyclone removed, and the new cyclone assembly ready to be installed.