The company admits this is a serious setback in safety at the mine.
South Deep management has suspended all hopper tramming activities, pending a full risk assessment, and has notified the Department of Mineral Resources. An in-loco inspection took place on Thursday after the incident, Gold Fields said in a statement.
Nick Holland, CEO of Gold Fields, said: “This is a serious setback in our efforts to continuously improving safety at South Deep as it is the second fatality we have recorded this year.” During 2016 the Gold Fields mine had also reported one fatality.
“Until this year we had shown measureable improvement in safety behaviour and have spent considerable time and resources on making working conditions safer. These two fatalities tragically remind us that we can never lessen our resolve in prioritising safety at all our operations,” Holland said.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased. Management will do everything possible to support them in this hour of need,” Holland added.
Gold Fields reported in September last year that an employee died in a fall-of-ground accident at South Deep mine.
The employee lost his life in the accident following a -1.5 magnitude seismic event.
Holland said at the time that Gold Fields would reassess all safety protocols, procedures and standards.