DiamondCorp announced on Monday that underground mining operations have been temporarily suspended at its Lace diamond mine in South Africa after an incident which led to an employee being hospitalised.
The suspension follows an investigation on 15 July by the South African Department of Minerals Resources (DMR) into a fall of ground incident in a development tunnel on the 310 m level.
The incident occurred when explosive misfires were being made safe and resulted in a miner’s assistant suffering contusions and four cracked ribs. He was hospitalised for observation and is in a stable condition.
The outcome of the investigation was an instruction that all miners’ assistants undertake refresher training in the handling and charging up of explosives.
This training commenced over the weekend and is scheduled to be completed by Wednesday 20 July.
Once the assistants are re-certified, DiamondCorp will apply to the DMR to resume underground mining operations which is expected by the end of this week while the plant at the Lace diamond mine will process tailings.
There is no material financial impact as a result of the temporary suspension, but DiamondCorp will not be able to mine its target of 30 000 t of ore in July.
Management of the company expects to achieve this rate in August and will aim to make up the July shortfall by the end of September.
The company is pleased that the incident did not result in any more serious or life threatening injuries and reiterates that safety is its top priority.
Lace management is fully supportive of the refresher training.