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Pilbara gold miner was killed after vehicle run over by large dump truck, police say

A man who died at a Pilbara mine site was killed after the light vehicle he was travelling in was run over by a large dump truck, according to WA Police.   

Pilbara District Superintendent Kim Massam confirmed details about the "terrible" death of the 59-year-old Perth man today.

He died yesterday at Capricorn Metals' Karlawinda Gold Mine, 65km south-east of Newman.

Superintendent Massam said the dump truck driver was not harmed, and police would continue their investigation for the coroner today alongside a WorkSafe probe.

"He's clearly distraught and we'll leave it at that. The scene is traumatic," he said.

"We will investigate the cause of death and provide that information to the coroner, but we'll also work with our colleagues at WorkSafe, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) and get to the understanding of why this has occurred and what lessons we can learn.

"It hammers home the continued need to be as vigilant as we can; the most important thing that comes out of a mine site are the people that go into it every day."  

He said the investigation would take time and urged the community not to speculate further about the fatality.

"The investigation will take its course and it will be thorough because it needs to be. We need to understand what's happened."

Union concerned after pair of deaths

A prominent WA mining union said it was "very concerned" about the death, which followed a fatal incident at another mine earlier this week. 

A worker was killed at St Ives' underground gold operation near Kambalda on Tuesday.

Authorities are investigating both incidents, but state secretary of the Mining and Energy Union Greg Busson said the pair of fatalities was alarming.

"The fact that we've had two incidents in close succession in different parts of the state is very concerning," he said.

"But it's more concerning that in this day and age, we're still sending our loved ones to work and some are not returning home."

The WA government overhauled its workplace health and safety laws during its first term in office and introduced industrial manslaughter as a crime.

Mr Busson said he would watch closely to see whether the new laws would be implemented for either of the recent deaths in the WA mining industry.

"I don't think all of the companies have taken much notice so far on the industrial manslaughter legislation," he said.

"But there are a lot of factors. Don't take any unnecessary risks. Do your job safely."

Australian Workers' Union WA secretary and Western Mine Workers Alliance spokesman Brad Gandy said he was saddened but not surprised by the deaths. 

He said the safety culture of the industry needed to be further overhauled and called on regulators to be more proactive. 

"While we are deeply, deeply saddened by this death we cannot honestly say we are surprised, because recent history has taught us that our industry is not taking safety as seriously as it should," he said.

"Today is a day for mourning. But we cannot and should not hide from the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with the safety culture created by the management of our mining industry.

"Things need to change – the culture needs to change."

Operations at the mine remain suspended, pending a Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety inspection.

Further updates on Goldfields death

As the Pilbara investigation continues, further information about the death at the Hamlet underground mine on Tuesday has also been released.

Authorities have confirmed the worker was a 37-year-old fly-in, fly-out worker from the Perth suburb of Mundijong.

DMIRS is continuing the separate investigation into the man's death, but has not released more details.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

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