SUDBURY, Ont. — A rescue operation for 39 miners who were trapped underground in northern Ontario on the weekend continues today, with their employer saying it expects all workers to emerge later this morning.

Mining company Vale says 19 workers already returned to the surface early today and are in good health.

The company says the employees were trapped in the Totten Mine, west of Sudbury, on Sunday when a scoop bucket being sent underground detached and blocked the mine shaft.

As a result, it said the “conveyance system” for taking workers to and from the surface became unavailable.

Vale says miners have been staying in underground “refuge stations,” as part of the company’s standard procedures.

It says they then began making their way out through a secondary egress ladder system.

“We thank the impacted employees for their patience and perseverance and the mine rescue teams for their tireless dedication and support,” said Gord Gilpin, head of mining for Vale’s Ontario operations. “This has been an incredible team effort.”

Totten Mine opened in 2014, in Worthington, Ont. and produces copper, nickel and precious metals. It employs about 200 people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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