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Shots fired

Monday, 18th April, 2011

By Andrew Robertson

Police believe Broken Hill locals may be responsible for firing up to 30 shots from a high powered rifle at the Honeymoon uranium mine on Saturday morning.

South Australian police are investigating the shooting which authorities suspect may have been a random act and possibly alcohol fueled.

The shooting was reported to South Australian police yesterday by security staff at the mine, 80km west of Broken Hill in South Australia.

Local police told the BDT that "about 30 shots" were fired from the vicinity of the mine from a high powered rifle shortly after 2am Saturday morning.

No-one was injured in the shooting which police said was captured on the mine's CCTV. Damage to the facility, which is set to begin production later this year, has not yet been determined.

A police spokesman said security staff at the mine confront three men in a white Ford Courier utility with NSW number plates, but they fled.

He said police suspect those responsible for the shooting could be from Broken Hill.

"We'd be very interested in talking to anyone who saw a vehicle (matching the description) in the Cockburn or Broken Hill area."

South Australian police said investigations were continuing into the incident which appeared not to be malicious or pre-meditated.

"There's nothing to suggest it was an intentional act on the mine site," a spokesman said.

A number of roadsigns were also damaged, he said, and the police officer stationed at Manna Hill had collected a number of empty beer bottles and cigarette butts from the area and sent them to Adelaide for forensic testing.

He said the owners of the mine, Uranium One, had been in contact with the mine site which had indicated that all mining staff were safe and well. It is unclear how many staff were staying at the mine.

The number of people and cars involved in the incident was also in some doubt yesterday with SA police saying that "a group of people turned up in cars".

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