JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Africa’s mine death toll rose further on Tuesday, with two gold mining companies reporting fatalities.
Gold major AngloGold Ashanti confirmed that a miner has died in a locomotive accident at the company’s Moab Khotsong mine, near Orkney, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Company spokesperson Alan Fine said that a decision on whether or not to close the mine would be made following an investigation by a team of inspectors from the Department of Minerals Energy (DME), labour and mine management had taken place.
Meanwhile, JSE-listed Pamodzi Gold said that a worker had died in an underground accident at its President Steyn operations, in the Free State province.
The accident occurred at the mine’s No 2 shaft at the S2A underground winder, where the miner had been undertaking maintenance and repair operations.
Pamodzi stated that the DME had undertaken a full investigation into the accident.
Earlier in the week, a contract worker died following a November 27 accident at platinum producer Impala Platinum.
Around 157 people have died in South Africa’s mines – some of the deepest in the world – this year.
Meanwhile, a mine safety audit that was commissioned by former president Thabo Mbeki last December to investigate the significant number of deaths and accidents across the country's mines, has still not been released.
The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) said it completed the audit in August and delivered it to the desk of Mbeki shortly before he was recalled. The audit was now said to be with President Kgalema Motlanthe.
The findings of the audit had still not been made public, however, deputy DG: head of communications and presidential spokesperson Thabo Masebe told Mining Weekly Online that the report would be released at the relevant time.
“It’s not ready to be released but will be once all the issues raised in it [the audit] have been attended to. I can’t say when exactly,” Masebe added.
- with additional reporting by Esmarie Swanepoel
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