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KGHM Rescues All 19 Missing Polish Miners, Output Unaffected

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Rescuers have evacuated all 19 workers trapped after a cave-in yesterday at KGHM Polska Miedz SA’s Rudna copper mine near Polkowice in western Poland.

“The miners have been evacuated after a seven-hour effort to reach them through the rockfall,” Dariusz Wyborski, a KGHM spokesman, said by phone today.

None of the 19 required hospitalization, Wyborski said. Four miners who made their way out of the mine earlier today had been treated for minor injuries and one remains hospitalized, he said. The workers had been trapped after a temblor at 10:09 p.m. yesterday triggered the cave-in at a 1,000 square meter (quarter acre) section of the mine, he said.

Rudna, the largest of KGHM’s three mines in Poland, has previously had fatalities from earthquakes. Two miners were killed after a tremor in 2010, according to a report by TVN24. A quake at the mine in 2007 also claimed the lives of at least two workers, according to the website of Gazeta Wyborcza.

The rest of the mine, which occupies about 150 square kilometers, is operating normally and production won’t be affected by the cave-in, Wyborski said.

KGHM shares rose 1.4 percent to 162 zloty at 9:04 a.m. in Warsaw, their biggest gain in a week. Copper rallied from a seven-month low to trade up 1 percent to $7,601.50 a metric ton in London today.

The mine, located in western Poland near the border with Germany and the Czech republic, began operations in 1974, according to KGHM’s website. Ore at the mine is extracted at a depth of more than 1,150 meters.

To contact the reporter on this story: David McQuaid in Warsaw at dmcquaid1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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