Free State miner killed at Harmony mine

2012-01-30 14:04

Johannesburg - A miner was killed at Harmony Gold's West shaft next to the Bambanani Mine in the Free State, the company said on Monday.

All operations had been stopped until investigations into the accident, which happened on Sunday, had been completed, the mine said in a statement.

"The accident occurred while scheduled maintenance was performed on the west shaft headgear to enable hoisting of ore from the planned Bambanani and Steyn 2 pillar extractions."

Harmony's CEO Graham Briggs expressed condolences to the miner's family on behalf of his management team.

The mine would not give any further details about the incident.

Last Friday, two miners were killed in a rock fall at the Modikwa Platinum Mine in Burgersfort, Limpopo.

National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said at the weekend it was disappointing that deaths were being recorded so early into the year.

"We are really disappointed that in January we are seeing fatalities [in mines] rising to over ten so far this year. Last year the deaths reached just beyond 120," he said.

  • ryanholdstock - 2012-01-30 14:29

    Shame man!

  • Widreck - 2012-01-30 14:45

    tis so sad,am hurt...

  • Fanie - 2012-01-30 14:59

    Like blood diamonds, like blood gold while Mathepe sits in his ivory towers and the little union dogs yap yap.

  • infijar.ken - 2012-01-30 16:10

    What? This January there have been ten deaths! Last year, there had been just over 120 deths in South African mines (funnily enough around ten deaths a month), and nobody thinks this is abnormal? This is crazy, are South African mines so inherently unsafe? If so, why are the Government legislating not against this? I cannot imagine that Privatising these mines would improve safety, but the Government must do something. This is disgraceful.

      NickvanderLeek - 2012-02-01 07:18

      each and every death is a tragedy. the average death toll is 11 per month. I know a little about mines, and to give you an idea, each day there are two shifts, which follow a period of blasting. when the shift starts the miners enter and make safe, and this includes prodding the rock strata to dislodge loose rock (above one's head). You can imagine it is a very dangerous practise, made even more so by various almost invisible rock formations overhead embedded in the ore, with varying weaknesses. things like vaults, dykes etc. and then there is also seismicity. given these dangers, 11 deaths a month is a relatively modest amount. working in a mine is less dangerous than driving a car in South Africa, where 40 people die each day, upwards of 14 000 a year. people howl at our murder statistics, but our motor accident fatality rate, an avoidable carnage, is equally high. yet people treat driving as a right, and speeding as a right, and can't countenance the idea of a slightly slower speed limit (110km/h) because they drive with the expectation that nothing will happen to them. Which is exactly why it's at the level it is. 20 People die per month in New Zealand, 200 in Australia and 1200 here. Maybe we could start by driving a little slower.

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