A New Zealander killed at a Western Australia goldmine had been building a nest egg so he could return home to projects on the boil in Dargaville.
Wayne Fowlie, 59, died in an underground rockfall at Central Norseman Gold's Harlequin mine on Saturday.
Norseman is a town of 900, about 700 kilometres east of Perth.
Fowlie loved life in the mines and the isolation mining life, his wife, Raewyn, told Fairfax Media.
The couple met in Perth more than 30 years ago, and returned home for more than a decade to raise three children near whanau in Dargaville.
Fowlie returned to Australia looking to build up a nest egg.
"Wayne's love was always working in the mines," his wife said. "He loved working with machinery. He was a bit of a hermit."
Fowlie, who had Australian citizenship, was restoring a Volkswagen which he had planned to take on a road trip around the South Island.
Keen on triathlons and running, he often headed out into the bush to train.
"He was a neat guy, and it shouldn't have happened to him... no-one deserves that," she said.
He was killed on Saturday morning. Police were notified at 11.20am that day, police media spokeswoman Ros Weatherall said.
The mine's emergency services were first to attend the accident scene.
Inspectors from the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) resources safety division from Perth and Kalgoorlie were on site, a DMP spokeman said.
Operations had stopped while the investigation was under way.
Police will prepare information for a coroner's report.