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Inquest into northern mining worker's 2015 death begins


A coroner's inquest examining the circumstances surrounding a 52-year-old mining worker's death in northern Ontario begins Monday.

Denis Millette, a millwright, died June 3, 2015, of acute cyanide poisoning at Detour Lake Mine when he was exposed to a lethal dose of the toxin while fixing a leak at the refinement facility.

The inquest is expected to take seven days and hear from 15 witnesses, the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General said in a news release.

It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 12 and is being live-streamed here.

After hearing all the evidence, a jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths in similar circumstances.

At the time of the fatal workplace injury, the Detour Lake Mine was owned by Detour Gold Corporation

In 2017, the company pleaded guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing death in connection to the incident and was ordered to pay a $1.4 million fine as well as a 30 per cent surcharge.

The family received compensation from Detour Gold.

It is Canada's largest gold mine, located about 300 northeast of Timmins, and was sold to Kirkland Lake Gold in 2020, which merged with Agnico Eagle Mines Febuary 2022.

Last month, two northern Ontario mining workers were killed on the job at two different gold mines.

A steel contractor was killed at an Argonaut Gold mine in Dubreuilville, Ont., and a 33-year-old man died after being hit by a vehicle underground at the Young-Davidson mine in Matachewan.

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