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Health News

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.  

Implats creating safety benchmark for mining industry

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     13th June 2008 Safety is paramount to the operations of platinum-miner Impala Platinum (Implats) in terms of remaining as the number two strategic player in the international platinum group metals market. 

Pathologist challenges Assmang’s denial of manganism among its workers

By: Margie Inggs     13th June 2008 Assmang’s argument that its workers are suffering from Parkinson’s disease, and not manganism, was dealt a major blow at the fifth sitting of the Department of Labour inquiry when pathologist Dr Reg Perumal gave evidence after performing a postmortem on the brain of one of the workers... 

Involvement of all stakeholders in implementing safety codes of practice urged

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     6th June 2008 Implementing codes of practice with the involvement of relevant stakeholders within a mining house or company is important, especially in enhancing health and safety, said differentiated corporate law firm, Brink Cohen Le Roux, senior associate Matthews Dikane at the Mine Health and Safety 2008... 

HudBay reports fatality at US mine

2nd June 2008 A miner was killed on Saturday as a result of a rockfall at Canadian miner HudBay Minerals' St Lawrence zinc mine, in Balmat, New York, the company said in a statement.  

Ice lowers cost of cooling deep mines, says engineer

By: Martin Creamer     30th May 2008 The use of ice to cool mines becomes particularly viable at depths below 2 000 m, says Mponeng’s engineering manager Pieter Geyser. 

R42m medical aid project for SA mine workers unveiled

By: Sapa     29th May 2008 An investment of R42-million was placed into a project for medical aid for mine workers on Thursday. This followed the signing of an agreement by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the South African Chamber of Mines, who injected the money into the project, and the National Union of... 

Assmang denies claims that Cato Ridge workers suffer from manganism

By: Chanel de Bruyn     26th May 2008 Ferromanganese producer Assmang said on Monday that it did not believe that any of its workers at its Cato Ridge smelter were suffering from manganism. The company said that its opinion was based on expert medical diagnoses, and that it would consider a number of options in this regard.  

Simmers’ workers to march at Buffelsfontein mine

By: Matthew Hill     26th May 2008 Workers at JSE- and TSX-listed Simmer & Jacks Mines (Simmers) would on Tuesday afternoon embark on an after-hours protest march and hand a memorandum to management over medical incapacity, wages for trained personnel, and worker accommodation at its Buffelsfontein mine. This came as the... 

DRDGold says E Rand mine’s worker attendance back to normal

By: Matthew Hill     26th May 2008 Midtier gold-miner DRDGold on Monday reported that worker attendance at its ERPM mine near Boksburg was back to normal, after a week of erratic turnouts cut production. A spokesperson for the company, James Duncan, said that the violent outbreaks in informal settlements that targeted foreigners... 

Health implications of asbestos-mining are far from over

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd May 2008 Although asbestos mining was banned in South Africa in 2001, and regulations prohibiting the use, manufacture and the import and export of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials was gazetted in March, this fibrous mineral still poses a major threat to communities, especially in areas where... 

Adopting health and safety best practice will ensure realisation of zero-harm aspiration

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd May 2008 While the mining industry in South Africa has committed itself to a zero harm and a value based approach to health and safety, a critical ingredient needed to turn this commitment into action is the implementation of the mining industry occupational safety and health (MOSH) best practise adoption... 

Manganese poisoning inquiry resumes

By: Sapa     22nd May 2008 A Department of Labour inquiry into exposure of workers to toxic manganese fumes and dust at the Assmang ferromanganese smelter near Durban will resume on Monday. Labour spokeswoman Zolisa Sigabi on Thursday said the inquiry would resume at the Cato Ridge Country Club about 40 km from Durban on... 

Lonmin hit by number of small smelter explosions, miner says not serious

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st May 2008 The world's third-largest platinum producer, Lonmin, on Wednesday denied that there had been any "serious explosions" at its Merensky smelter or that it had failed to report any incidents to the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME). South African trade union Solidarity on... 

Health and safety review on the horizon for diversified miner

16th May 2008 Diversified mining group Xstrata, is committed to implementing a formal review process of major health, safety, environmental and community hazards by the end of 2008, to identify opportunities for improvement and ensure these processes are robust and effective. Five of its employees and four... 

Lamp room the entry point for mine health and safety

16th May 2008 Lead-acid battery manufacturer, Willard Batteries, states that the mining industry is coming under increased scrutiny owing to a series of accidents and incidents, which have caused mine managers to look at innovative ways to mitigate employees’ risk, below the earth’s surface. 

Local invention set to change the face of health and safety in mining

16th May 2008 Health and safety on South African mines could be significantly improved, following the development of a system which monitors and analyses, in real time, a host of environmental and physiological risk factors experiences by all miners. 

Gold producer reports an improvement in safety

16th May 2008 Twenty-nine mining-related accident fatalities were recorded during 2007 states gold producer Gold Fields’ health and safety report for 2007. This constitutes a fatal injury frequency rate of 0,19 for every million hours worked. All these fatalities occurred at the group’s South African... 

Trapped-miner location equipment developed

By: Fatima Gabru     16th May 2008 A newly developed trapped miner locator system is capable of locating trapped workers at the onset of the search and continuously tracking the miners’ during the process. The system was developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for the Mining Health Safety Council... 

Mining company’s commitment to safety delivers zero fatalities

16th May 2008 Opencast mining contracting company Concor Mining’s commitment from management and its workforce alike, has seen this company achieve a fatality injury frequency rate (FIFR) and a lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), of zero on both counts over the last five years. 

Environmental and health integration serving up results

16th May 2008 As part of the merger process with mining major Kumba Resources and coal producer Eyesizwe Coal, a safety health and environment (SHE) integration project was launched at the beginning of 2007, resulting in a new vision and strategy states diversified miner Exxaro’s Annual Report for 2007. 

Presidential mine safety audits on schedule

By: Fatima Gabru     16th May 2008 The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) has completed its auditing on 250 mines of about 333 high-risk mines. The audits were ordered by President Thabo Mbeki after 3 200 workers were trapped underground at gold producer Harmony Gold’s Elandsrand mine in 2007, when a falling pipe damaged... 

Gold producer reports reduced fatality rate for first quarter

By: Fatima Gabru     16th May 2008 The fatality rate for gold miner AngloGold Ashanti’s South African operations for the period January 2008 to April 2008 is, 0,1 per million man hours. 

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