JOHANNESBURG – Harmony Gold management is on Friday expected to brief Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane on the seismic incident a week ago, which killed five mineworkers at its Kusasalethu mine near Carletonville.
The chief inspector of mines and the department’s inspectors, who were part of the proto teams, are expected to present Zwane with a report.
On Thursday, the bodies of two mineworkers, who were trapped underground, were recovered, nearly a week after the seismic incident.
At the time, Harmony Gold said that rescue workers had located and recovered the bodies of the two remaining mineworkers who had been unaccounted for after a tremor caused the collapse of sections of the Kusasalethu mine on Friday, 25 August.
The seismic event occurred at about 3 100 m below the surface at around 10.30 on August 25.
Specially trained mine rescue teams brought the first body to the surface on Saturday. Another body was retrieved on Sunday while the third was recovered on Monday. All of the employees who were trapped underground have now been accounted for.
The dead miners were named as Mr Matuba, Mr Mokhele and Mr Mokemane who were all stope team members, and Mr Moganedi and Mr Sethafuno who were both rock drill operators.
Harmony’s board and management, expressed condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.
“We will continue to provide the necessary support to the families of the deceased. We are grateful to our colleagues and the scores of volunteer members of Mine Rescue Services from across South Africa for their unwavering commitment to the rescue operation,” Harmony chief executive Peter Steenkamp said.
“These rescue teams have demonstrated the utmost professionalism and courage under exceptionally challenging circumstances. We thank the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) for their collaboration that has made this possible.”
Steenkamp said investigations into the incident, involving representatives of Harmony Gold, organised labour and the health and safety directorate of the DMR will take place.
Harmony Gold said it was planning a memorial service for Monday.