Two employees of Australian mining contractor Barminco died in an underground incident at copper miner Khoemacau Copper Mining’s operations, in Botswana, on May 20.
On May 21, Khoemacau said investigations into the cause of the accident were ongoing.
“It appears that the two, both blasting crew members, had proceeded underground to perform tasks at the Tshukudu section 140 m below surface. Their bodies were discovered by colleagues who followed,” the company stated.
Two colleagues of the deceased employees were also affected by the incident and are recovering in hospital.
The family of one of the deceased is based elsewhere in Botswana, while the second is an Indonesian citizen.
“The deaths of our two colleagues is a terrible shock to me personally, to their employer and to all the other employees at Khoemacau. We convey our deepest condolences to their families.
“Naturally, we will use the outcome of the investigation to ensure that such an incident cannot reoccur,” Khoemacau CEO Johan Ferreira said.
This is the first instance of a fatal accident at Khoemacau’s operations since the mine’s development began. The company said it would work with Barminco’s management to assist the families of the deceased, beyond the statutory financial compensation to which they are entitled.
Safety officials from Botswana’s Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security visited the incident site over the weekend as part of an investigation into the incident.