New figures show a spike in mining-related deaths at work, up to the highest rate in over a decade.

The latest injury figures published by Safe Work Australia this week show an overall downward trend in the number of deaths in the mining industry over ten years, but the figure has leapt back up in the last 12 months.

In the 2013-14 financial year, Australian mines saw a total of 17 deaths at work, or a rate of about 15.7 deaths per 100,000 workers.

This rate is in stark contrast to figures from the 2012-13 financial year, where zero deaths were recorded.

There have been four deaths in NSW, four deaths in Western Australia, two deaths in Queensland, one in the Northern Territory and one in Tasmania in the last six months.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee has released a statement speaking out against the dark rate.

“The recent spike in incidents and fatalities in the Australian mining industry is a poignant reminder that our miners face hazards every day and that safety is everything to NSW mining; it is our number one priority, our most important issue,” he said.