The names of two men killed when they fell more than 20 metres down a mine shaft in western Tasmania have been released.
Queenstown men Craig Nigel Gleeson, 45, and Alistair Michael Lucas, 25, fell while doing maintenance work in a shaft at the Mt Lyell copper mine on Monday morning.
Tasmania Police said the second body had been recovered from underground and both would be taken to Hobart on Monday night.
The men fell between 20 and 35 metres, one man was brought to the surface but died on the way to hospital.
The other man died at the scene.
All operations at the mine were suspended until Tuesday morning, Copper Mines of Tasmania general manager Scot Clyde said.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the families of the two workers, their immediate work mates and also our other site employees who will be saddened by this tragic accident,” Mr Clyde said in a statement.
The deaths are a blow to Queenstown, a remote mining community with a population of around 2000 people best known for its moonscape-like scarring from previous copper smelting.
The town last year commemorated the 100th anniversary of the North Mount Lyell mine disaster, one of Australia’s worst, which killed 42 workers.
“It still has resonance and this will have resonance,” Inspector Matthew Richman told AAP.
It was still unclear what had caused the fall, Insp Richman said.
“The coroner, Workplace Standards and police investigators are underground at the moment examining what happened,” he said.
Tasmanian Minerals Council chief executive Terry Long said the deaths were the first in the state’s mines since Larry Knight was killed in a rock fall that trapped two other miners in the Beaconsfield gold mine on Anzac Day 2006.
Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings offered her condolences.
“This is terrible news and our heartfelt sympathy goes to all those affected by this tragedy,” Ms Giddings said in a statement.
“When people go to work we expect them to come home safely and our thoughts are with their loved ones at this time.”
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union state secretary John Short said it was a devastating day for the workers’ families and the community.
“This is a close-knit community, and this is truly devastating news,” he said.
Copper Mines of Tasmania is a subsidiary of Indian company Vedanta.