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Health News

'Day of mourning' halts output at AngloGold's Mponeng mine

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st August 2008 Production at South African gold producer AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine, in Carletonville, had stopped on Thursday, with nearly 16 000 workers observing a day of mourning, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said. The employees were mourning the death of a colleague who died in a tramming... 

Safety audit report to be released 'soon' – DME

By: Matthew Hill     20th August 2008 Government has completed audits on all the 300-plus high-risk mines, ordered by South African President Thabo Mbeki, and will release the report “soon”, an official said on Wednesday. “The report has been finalised,” Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) chief inspector of mines Thabo Gazi... 

Two workers killed at Angloplat mines – union

By: Matthew Hill     19th August 2008 Two workers died at Anglo Platinum’s (Angloplat’s) mines at the weekend, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Tuesday. South Africa’s biggest union said that one worker died at the world’s biggest platinum producer’s Mogalakwena and another at the Amandelbult mine, near Rustenburg.... 

AngloGold temporarily shuts two main sections at TauTona

By: Chanel de Bruyn     18th August 2008 Two main sections of AngloGold Ashanti's TauTona mine would remain closed for another day, following an inspection by the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) on Monday into the death of a worker last week. AngloGold Ashanti spokesperson Joanne Jones told Mining Weekly Online that a Section... 

Three die at Evraz mine in Siberia

     18th August 2008 Three miners were killed on Sunday after a roof collapsed at Evraz's Mine 12 coal operation, in the Kenerovo region in Siberia. Seven more people who were working at the mine at the time of the accident were safely evacuted, the company said in a statement.  

AngloGold closes part of TauTona after mine death

By: Chanel de Bruyn     15th August 2008 A miner died and another six workers were injured at gold-miner AngloGold Ashanti's TauTona operation, near Carletonville, on Friday after a seismic event had triggered a fall-of-ground. The accident came only four days after a worker had died at the company's nearby Mponeng mine, owing to a... 

Safety standards slide as mines approach end of operating lives

     15th August 2008 As some South African gold mines head towards the end of their commercial lives, margins are being squeezed to the extent that safety performance can be dangerously compromised. 

'Too early too tell' cause or effect of latest Cigar Lake setback – Cameco's Grandey

By: Liezel Hill     14th August 2008 Cameco Corporation CEO Jerry Grandey determinedly refused to hazard any guesses on Wednesday about what had caused the sudden rapid inflow of water into the beleaguered Cigar Lake project that forced the company to halt pumping and repair work earlier this week. Although he conceded that the... 

BHP unlikely to bid for Implats – analysts

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th August 2008 It was improbable that BHP Billiton would bid for global platinum number-two Impala Platinum (Implats), analysts said on Thursday. The company said before that safety risks associated with South Africa’s deep-level mines was a deterrent to bringing the white metal into its production fold, which... 

Four killed in BC helicopter crash

     8th August 2008 Four people died after a helicopter carrying contractors to Bravo Venture Group's Homestake Ridge prospect, in British Columbia, crashed on Wednesday morning, the company said in a statement. "At this stage few details of the circumstances of the accident are known to the company and company... 

South Deep geology lends itself to modern mechanised mining – Gold Fields

By: Martin Creamer     8th August 2008 The geology of South Deep mine lends itself to mechanised mining, which is now under way there, says outgoing Gold Fields COO Terence Goodlace. 

SA’s gold output drops further

By: Matthew Hill     7th August 2008 The fall in South Africa’s gold production continued in June, when the industry produced 12,3% less of the yellow metal than the same month the previous year, government figures showed. Actual total mining production in the country for the quarter ended June 30, slid by 6,3% compared with the... 

Eskom halts coal transport after 16 road deaths

By: Matthew Hill     7th August 2008 State-owned Eskom on Thursday took all of the 1 500-plus trucks that supply its power stations with coal off the road for the day, after 16 people died in 55 accidents over the last month. The company said that the 24-hour stoppage was for the coal transporters to focus on safety, and that the... 

Gold Fields takes short-term production knock to tackle safety record 

By: Matthew Hill     1st August 2008 Gold Fields sank to a new 12-month low on the JSE on Friday, after it reported that it was taking even more short-term production pain in favour of improving safety at its operations, with the six-month closure of the main shaft at its key Kloof mine. The move would cost it in the order of 500... 

Safety milestone as AngloGold marks first fatality free quarter 

By: Matthew Hill     31st July 2008 AngloGold Ashanti has for the first time in its 100-year history gone 110 days without a death at its mines, which employ 60 000 people globally. CEO Mark Cutifani said that this was an important milestone that demonstrated that “we can operate in South Africa without fatalities”, but that the... 

AngloGold posts $946m adjusted loss after cutting hedge

By: Matthew Hill     31st July 2008 Africa’s number-one gold producer, AngloGold Ashanti, made an adjusted headline loss of $946-million for the quarter ended June 30, after it spent nearly $1-billion to cut its gold hedge book and uranium contracts, it said on Thursday. Excluding these one-off items, the company reported adjusted... 

BHP halts operations at Klipspruit following fatal accident

By: Mariaan Webb     30th July 2008 BHP Billiton has suspended mining operations at its Klipspruit Colliery in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, after a fatal accident on Tuesday. A drill groundsman was killed at the operation, near Ogies, when a drill rig moved over a high wall and fell about 10 m, the company said in a... 

Communications specialist fills market gap

By: Darren Parker     25th July 2008 South African mining and engineering communications specialists Ngage public relations (PR) has launched a new communications systems service under the brand Mintel. The system is a solution to communicating internally with vast numbers of employees through the use of cellular-phone technology. 

Collaboration gives birth to new tracking system

     25th July 2008 Software solutions provider Mineware Consulting, in a new partnership with tracking solutions company Accutrak, has implemented Smartrail, a system which allows mines to analyse the amount of rock being transported underground, as well as the grade and movement of each load. 

Innovative technology use leads to substantial growth

By: Darren Parker     25th July 2008 Canadian mining communications specialist Mine Radio Systems (MRS), reports that its South African branch has more than doubled its turnover every year, over the past three years. As a result of the company’s rapid growth, it has had to move owing to the constricting size of its previous office... 

Shedding light on miners’ whereabouts

By: Darren Parker     25th July 2008 Local lighting technology company Optimac has launched a workable asset tracking solution (Wats) to work with its in-house designed, lightweight Halolite H2 miner’s cap lamp. 

Two-way radio goes digital

By: Darren Parker     25th July 2008 South African wireless communications provider Multisource is introducing digital two-way radios to the country and the continent, ideally aimed at vertical industries, including mining. 

Companies that ‘continue to injure and kill people’ will lose moral licence to mine – Gazi

By: Guy Copans     25th July 2008 “If you continue to injure and kill people, you will lose your moral licence to mine.”  

Panellists differ on approach to South Africa’s mining safety situation

By: Guy Copans     25th July 2008 The thorny debate of whether most mining accidents are caused by human behaviour was raised again in a panel discussion at a mining safety conference in Johannesburg.  

New World Resources reports fatality, third this month

     18th July 2008 LSE-listed coal-miner New World Resources would halt production for one hour during each of the four shifts at its mines in the Czech Republic on Friday, after reporting its third fatality this month, the company said in a statement. A 39-year old miner employed by a contractor was fatally... 

NUM wants Primrose Gold’s mining right seized 

By: Matthew Hill     15th July 2008 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Wednesday called on the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) to take away the mining rights from the small gold operator of the Primrose Gold mine, east of Johannesburg, because of alleged human rights abuses there. A phonecall to the mine, owned by... 

New World Resources reports fatalities at Czech mine

By: Liezel Hill     11th July 2008 Coal-miner New World Resources is investigating the deaths of two workers at its Darkov mine, in the Czech Republic, the company said on Friday. Two members of a five man team working on the recovery of longwall equipment were found unconscious on Thursday morning. 

Inmet investigates ground movement at Spanish copper project

By: Liezel Hill     10th July 2008 Toronto-based Inmet Mining expects an investigation into the cause of an “unexpected ground movement” at its Las Cruces copper project, in Spain, to take several weeks, the firm said. The incident occurred on Thursday at the new storage facility for dried residues from the mine's process plant. 

SA mining CEOs to hold two-day safety roundtable

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th July 2008 The mining industry in South Africa was moving to a new “action-focused” era, said Chamber of Mines safety and sustainable development adviser Sietse van der Woude, adding that the largest project in the Chamber currently was the piloting of the best practice adoption system to improve health and... 

Union mulls one-day safety strike at Gold Fields’ SA mines

By: Chanel de Bruyn     7th July 2008 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Monday confirmed that the union was planning to hold a one-day safety strike at gold producer Gold Fields' four local operations, in light of the high number of deaths that occurred at the miner's operations this year. Union spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka... 

Mine safety knowledge lying dormant, says SA safety chief Gazi 

By: Guy Copans     4th July 2008 Safety and health were at the top of the agenda of every South African mining company even before Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll took decisive action that caused heads to roll. At the same time, the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC) has, over the years, researched health and safety in... 

Asbestos pollution still a big problem, says Kgalagadi Relief Trust

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     4th July 2008 While there has been significant improvement in dealing with the legacy of asbestos-mining in South Africa in the last ten years, since the national asbestos summit (NAS) of 1998, the environmental pollution caused by this fibre has been described by Brian Gibson, a trustee of the... 

Mine safety knowledge lying dormant, says safety chief Gazi; research quality could be improved, he adds

By: Guy Copans     4th July 2008 Safety and health were at the top of the agenda of every South African mining company even before Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll took decisive action that caused heads to roll.  

Court rules in favour of AngloGold in R2,7m silicosis case

By: Chanel de Bruyn     26th June 2008 The Johannesburg High Court on Thursday ruled in favour of gold-miner AngloGold Ashanti in terms of a R2,7-million occupational health disease claim lodged by a former employee, Thembekile Mankayi. The ruling had also settled a dispute on whether mineworkers, who had already been compensated... 

Global Business Coalition lauds Palabora Foundation’s HIV/Aids work

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     20th June 2008 Diversified miner Rio Tinto’s Palabora Foundation, which is the social investment vehicle of the Palabora Mining Company (PMC), in Limpopo, was recently recognised by the Global Business Coalition (GBC) for its contribution towards tackling HIV/Aids. 

South Deep accident reopens discussion on emergency braking systems

By: Guy Copans     20th June 2008 Cage-shaft accidents, such as the one that occurred at the Gold Fields South Deep Mine last month, resulting in nine deaths, has put the spotlight on mine safety in South Africa, and the question of whether an emergency braking system could prevent such an incident needs to be raised, says... 

Two Pamodzi workers die in fire at Orkney mine

By: Matthew Hill     19th June 2008 Black-owned miner Pamodzi Gold on Thursday reported that two workers died in a fire at its Orkney mine, in the North West province, on Wednesday. The JSE-quoted company had stopped all operations at the number-two shaft, and the cause of the fire was unknown and an investigation into the... 

Up to 90% of accidents a result of unsafe behaviour – Wits academic

By: Guy Copans     13th June 2008 About eighty to ninety percent of all accidents or incidents that occur in mines are a result of human behaviour, says Department of Mining and Engineering University of the Witwatersrand senior lecturer Phillip Frankel.  

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