HomeBase MetalsAnother mine death

Another mine death

Underground at
Harmony Gold’s
Elandsrand mine
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 September 2008 – Another South African mineworker has been killed in a mining accident, as thousands of miners stopped work yesterday and today to mourn colleagues who had lost their lives in mine accidents last week.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) announced yesterday that a worker had been killed Anglo Platinum’s Lebowa mine in Limpopo. A company spokesman told Reuters that the worker had been killed by a scrapper winch.

Reuters reports that it was not immediately clear whether the mine would be shut down because of the accident. “It is not for us – normally it is the inspector who decides these things, the spokesman said.

The news agency said South Africa – the world’s top source of platinum and a major gold producer – had a bad safety record for underground mining, and the government routinely shut down operations temporarily after deaths so that companies could probe mine safety or make repairs.

This latest accident brings to 120 the number of mineworkers who lost their lives at work this year, according to NUM. The union has called on members to stay away from work each time a mineworker is killed in South African mines.

About 5 000 workers stopped work at DRD Gold’s Blyvoor mine yesterday to observe a day of mourning for a worker killed at the mine last week. NUM added that another 6 000 workers were expected to down tools at Harmony Gold’s Elandsrand mine today to mourn a worker who died at that mine as well.