Hearing Set to Discuss Troy Mine Cave-in

By Beacon Staff

TROY – Troy Mine managers will meet Monday with government regulators before a Spokane, Wash., judge who will determine whether the copper and silver mine should pay a $60,000 fine after a worker was killed in a cave-in more than two years ago.

Mike Ivins, 55, was killed July 30, 2007, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration has ruled that he died because management failed to properly shore up the rock roof. Owners have disputed the findings, and the MSHA said Wednesday it was negotiating with the mine in hopes of reaching a settlement before the four-day hearing.

Troy Mine, which is operated by Spokane-based Revett Minerals, has received more than 350 federal citations since the accident, with fines totaling nearly $1 million. The company has contested many of the citations, particularly those that came with major fines. It has paid just $50,000 of the $1 million levied so far, or about 5 percent.

The $60,000 fine at issue during next week’s hearing is connected directly to the accident that killed Ivins, and is the first of the many contested fines to be adjudicated. Revett President and CEO John Shanahan said it could be months before the judge makes a decision.

Meanwhile, Ivins’ widow has filed a lawsuit against the company, seeking $18 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Tammy Ivins says mine managers were negligent for failing to provide a safe workplace.