AngloGold Ashanti has brought miners at its Vaal River operations, Great Noligwa and Moab Khotsong mines, to surface following a 5.3 magnitude earthquake originating near Orkney in South Africa’s North West province, 17 of whom have sustained minor injuries.
“AngloGold Ashanti confirms that an earthquake of 5.3 magnitude occurred near its Vaal River Operations in South Africa, at a depth of roughly 8km,” the company said in a statement.
“Our priority is the safe passage of our employees from underground. Again, in line with safety protocols, engineers are inspecting shaft infrastructure and at those shafts where this work is complete, hoisting of people to surface has already begun. All back-up power generators and underground safety systems remain operational,” AngloGold stated.
Following the seismic activity, the Department of Mineral Resources’ Chief Inspector of Mines has requested mining companies operating in the Free State, Carletonville, Rustenburg and Klerksdorp areas to inspect conditions underground in order to ensure the safety of employees.
The areas were among the worst affected by the earthquake.
“The affected companies must ensure that there are no employees still trapped underground,” Mr David Msiza, Chief Inspector of Mines, said.
The Council for Geoscience, a state-owned entity reporting to the Department of Mineral Resources, said the earthquake measured 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale.
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