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Health News

Mines’ safety performance improves, but still leaves much to be desired – Sonjica

By: Christy van der Merwe     13th February 2009 Minister of Minerals and Energy Buyelwa Sonjica has released the long-awaited national Mine Safety Audit, which found the average compliance across all sectors was 66%, with some sectors performing better than others. Although there was a slight ‘improvement’ in statistics, from 220 mineworker... 

Gold Fields installs R40m UPS system at South Deep

By: Jonathan Faurie     13th February 2009 Gold-mining major Gold Fields has invested R40-million in an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system to improve the safety performance at its South Deep mine near Carltonville. 

AngloGold suffers fatal accident at Tau Lekoa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th February 2009 A hydropower driller working at the world's number three gold producer, AngloGold Ashanti's Tau Lekoa mine, in the Vaal River region, of South Africa was killed on Wednesday. The accident occurred at 1 650 level while workers were preparing a working face for drilling, the company said in a... 

Agreement reached on closure plan for Yukon lead/zinc mine

By: Liezel Hill     9th February 2009 After more than five years of studies and consultations, a consensus has finally been reached on a closure plan for the 25 km2 Faro mine complex, in Canada's Yukon territory. A committee of senior officials from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the government of Yukon, the... 

Gold major slashes accident rate, 
eyes further improvement

By: Guy Copans     6th February 2009 Mining major Gold Fields has reiterated its commitment to safety, with the group’s head of South African operations, Vishnu Pillay, describing safety as the “number-one priority” at the company’s latest results presentation. 

 

Pamodzi temporarily shuts Free State underground operations

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     4th February 2009 Underground mining at Pamodzi Gold’s Free State operations had been stopped on Wednesday, after the municipality cut water supplies, owing to a late payment. Spokesperson Bongi Radebe said that Shaft 1 and Shaft 2 had been closed to underground operations, owing to the lack of access to fresh... 

Harmony reports fatality at Free State mine

By: Liezel Hill     30th January 2009 A mineworker died in a locomotive accident at South African gold-miner Harmony Gold's Masimong mine, in the Free State province, the company said on Friday evening. Management and the Department of Minerals and Energy will begin investigations into the incident on Monday, the firm said.  

Early-warning system set to slash mining accidents considerably

By: Jonathan Faurie     30th January 2009 A new early warning system, developed by diversified electrical engineering company Booyco Electronics could significantly improve safety standards in mines.  

Ion-exchange technology being used to mining effluent

By: Leandi Kolver     30th January 2009 Water treatment company Ionex is using ion-exchange technology to treat effluents from mining and metallurgical operations. The technology was developed in 2005 and a basic form is still in use in the original remediation project undertaken in 2006.  

Angloplat halts development work at Paardekraal after fatality

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     26th January 2009 Platinum producer Anglo Platinum on Monday reported that development work at its at its Paardekraal Two shaft, in the North West Province, had been halted, after one of its workers died over the weekend. Spokesperson Simon Tebele said an employee, who was struck by a power pack on Friday, had... 

New cap lamp enhances success rate of rescue operations – distributor

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd January 2009 Local company PJ Tech, which recently introduced traceable cap lamps in South Africa, says that the product is well-suited for the country’s unique mining conditions, and will fare well in the market, given government, and industry’s stance on safety. 

Prioritise safety wear, local company urges mining houses

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd January 2009 While South Africa embraces a stringent safety and health legislation in the mining industry, uniform specialist company, the Kit Group’s mining division operating officer Richard Christophers says that safety wear needs to play a stronger role in the industry, especially in smaller, independent... 

Harmony aims to halve lost-time injury rate

By: Jonathan Faurie     23rd January 2009 Gold-mining major Harmony Gold is targeting a 50% improvement in the company's lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) by the end of the year. 

Lightning Strike

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd January 2009 South Africa's fourth-largest gold-mining company DRDGold was recovering, at the time of going to press, from a lightning strike that hit an Eskom electrical substation and caused a power blackout at the No 5 shaft of its Blyvooruitzicht mine, near Carletonville. Last Saturday evening 275... 

Angloplat’s Rustenburg workers march over disappearance of colleagues  

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     21st January 2009 An estimated 17 000 mineworkers marched to the Rustenburg offices of Anglo Platinum’s (Angloplat’s) Rustenburg operations on Wednesday afternoon, to demand an investigation into the disappearance of two workers. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is demanding an independent investigation... 

DRDGold resumes production at Blyvoor after trapped miners incident

By: Chanel de Bruyn     19th January 2009 Production at the No 5 shaft at gold producer DRDGold’s Blyvooruitzicht mine, near Carletonville, had resumed with the start of the night shift at about 18:00 on Monday. This comes after about 275 maintenance and essential service employees were trapped underground in the No 5 shaft on Saturday... 

Harmony's Elandsrand output affected after accident, Pamodzi reports fatality

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th January 2009 JSE-listed miner Harmony Gold has stopped production at a section of its Elandsrand mine, near Carletonville, after a worker died at the weekend, an official said on Monday. Harmony’s COO for the North Region, Alwyn Pretorius, stated that a fall of ground incident on Saturday morning, caused by... 

Cellphone lockers innovation can help productivity and safety, developer says

By: Jonathan Faurie     16th January 2009 A mobile-phone locker that protects workers possessions during working hours is set to reinvigorate safety and security at the Goldfields-owned Demang mine, in south western Ghana. 

NGO engages with 
corporate partners 
over illegal mining

By: Beth Shirley     16th January 2009 Social development non-governmental organisation Pact-Congo is finding ways to reduce conflicts associated with the complex issue of artisanal mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Together with corporate partners, and donors such as the United States Agency for International... 

Joburg faces no threat of sinkholes because of presence of 'mine void'

By: Leandi Kolver     16th January 2009 The mine void underneath Johannesburg - a legacy of old-mining in a bygone era - is not a threat that will cause large sinkholes across the city's landscape, assures African Environmental Development technical services director Garfield Krige. 

Harmony improves safety at Phakisa mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th January 2009 JSE-listed Harmony Gold has reduced the lost time injury frequency rate at its Phakisa mine, in the Free State province of South Africa, to 0,98, it announced on Monday. "This is an exceptional performance. It is a true reflection of team work and the efforts made by management supported by... 

Implats reopens Rustenburg shaft after fatal accident

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th January 2009 The No 14 shaft that forms part of world number-two platinum producer Impala Platinum's (Implats') Rustenburg operations, was reopened on Monday, after it was shut last week following the death of a mine worker. A worker had died at the shaft on Wednesday. 

Implats closes Rustenburg shaft after mine death  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th January 2009 World number-two platinum producer Impala Platinum (Implats) has confirmed that a worker at its Number 14 shaft, in Rustenburg, has died. Implats spokesperson Alice Lourens said that the worker had been part of a team carrying a ventilation pipe, which fell onto him. The worker sustained serious... 

SA government says mine deaths decreased in 2008

By: Chanel de Bruyn     7th January 2009 The number of workers that lost their lives in South Africa's mining industry fell in 2008, the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) confirmed this week. However, the DME's inspector of mines, Thabo Gazi, would not be drawn on how many fatalities were recorded in 2008, as the department was... 

SA mine fatalities fell 23% in 2008 – union

By: Liezel Hill     23rd December 2008 The number of people killed in South African mines declined almost 23% this year, compared with 2007, trade union Solidarity said on Tuesday. So far 168 people have lost their lives, compared with 221 last year, the union said. 

If Bill becomes Act, it will drive away investment in South African mining, argues lawyer

By: Guy Copans     12th December 2008 The recently passed Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill, which charges mining companies for criminal liability while simultaneously imposing administrative fines, is unconstitutional, and will drive away investment in South African mining, argues Brink Cohen Le Roux partner Willem Le Roux at... 

M&R Cementation employee killed in Impala mine accident

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st December 2008 An employee of Murray & Roberts Cementation died at the weekend following an accident, at a Impala Platinum mine. This brought the death toll in South Africa's mines to 155 for the year. 

15% year-on-year safety improvement - South African Chamber of Mines

By: Martin Creamer     28th November 2008 South Africa’s mines have achieved a 15% year-on-year safety improvement in 2008 and a 50% improvement over a decade, Chamber of Mines (CoM) CE Zoli Diliza reports. “As much as we want to argue that one death is one too many, there is improvement, as we have seen this year. But we are talking... 

Centre of excellence to achieve zero-fatality target - SA Chamber

By: Martin Creamer     24th November 2008 South Africa's Chamber of Mines (CoM), together with government and labour, is considering the establishment of a "mining centre of excellence" as a means of achieving its target of zero fatalities, CoM CE Zoli Diliza reports. Diliza says that mining company CEOs discussed "nothing but safety"... 

Hydrostatic braking system increases safety underground

By: Darren Parker     21st November 2008 Hydraulic engineering specialist Lindos Hydraulics, formerly Brakecore Hydraulics, has introduced a braking system, which employs hydrostatic braking to increase safety in underground mining equipment in South Africa. 

Chamber warns of possible dire consequences of amendments to health and safety law

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     14th November 2008 Chamber of Mines CE Sipho Nkosi has warned that, if “draconian proposals” in the Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill, empowering mines inspectors to close down a mining site following a fatal or serious nonfatal accident, were implemented, there would be damaging consequences for the industry.  

Safety equipment supplier gives impetus to African market 

By: Darren Parker     7th November 2008 Global supplier of personnel protective equipment (PPE), MSA, is placing a renewed focus on the African mining market, noting that the standards of safety equipment within the market are something that could be improved on through a more active participation of responsible entities, such as... 

Rand’s volatility, power and legislation key issues facing SA mining – Nkosi

By: Chanel de Bruyn     4th November 2008 The volatility of the rand, electricity supply concerns and the legislative environment are among the biggest challenges set to continue facing the mining industry, the Chamber of Mines highlighted during its annual general meeting on Tuesday. Chamber of Mines president Sipho Nkosi noted in his... 

Canadian junior awaits news of missing plane

By: Liezel Hill     3rd November 2008 A search is under way in Guyana after an aircraft that was undertaking a geophysical survey for explorer U3O8 Corp went missing on Sunday, the company said in a statement. Two US citizens – the pilot and first officer – and a Canadian, were on board. 

Underground communication tools enhance safety

31st October 2008 Specialist in underground communication systems and controls, Becker Electronics supplies mines with a wide range of tagging and tracking equipment, as well as personnel avoidance and detection systems, which significantly enhances safety for miners. 

Human rights lawyer blasts compensation system for asbestos disease sufferers

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     31st October 2008 A significant challenge facing asbestos-related disease (ARD) sufferers is South Africa’s “antiquated” and “dysfunctional” compensation system, says human rights lawyer and activist Richard Spoor.  

Angloplat closes Turffontein shaft after fatality

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     27th October 2008 Trade union Solidarity on Monday issued a warning to platinum producer Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) to investigate mining safety at the company’s mines, following the death of the sixteenth Angloplat worker this year. Angloplat spokesperson Simon Tebele said that the fatality was caused by an... 

90 000 dying yearly from asbestos-related illnesses globally

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     24th October 2008 About 125-million people around the world, of whom 48-million are in South Africa, are exposed to asbestos at work, with at least 90 000 dying each year from diseases associated with this fibrous mineral, according to the World Health Organisation.  

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