NEWYORK, May 4 -- BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's biggest mining company, said production from the Nickel West Leinster operations in Western Australia had been restored after a partial closure because of an April 11 fatality.
"Operations at Nickel West Leinster have now returned to normal, with safety being BHP Billiton's most important priority," the Melbourne-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. "BHP Billiton continues to work with the Department of Mines and Petroleum as it continues its investigation into the fatal accident which occurred in April."
BHP is the world's third-largest nickel producer and the Leinster operation's two underground mines and plant have an operating capacity of 3 million tons of ore a year, according to its Web site. Government investigators have been probing the cause of the accident, in which a worker died when his front-end loader plunged 20 meters (66 feet) down a vertical decline while working underground.