Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — January 17, 2008 – Aquarius Platinum South Africa is to meet with the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) to resolve their dispute over the issue of safety audits of two of the company’s operations in South Africa.
“The company is profoundly perturbed that its reporting last week of the auditing of the company’s operations has given rise to public divisions between the company, the DME, the NUM and Solidarity,” says the statement. “We are resolved to repair these divisions in good faith and as a matter of urgency in the interests of both safety and constructive relationships going forward.”
miningmx.com] — AQUARIUS Platinum has scheduled meetings with officials of the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) to resolve the misunderstanding following the company’s release of a statement last week claiming that two of its South African operations had passed the mine safety audits.
“The company is profoundly perturbed that its reporting last week of the auditing of the company’s operations has given rise to public divisions between the company, the DME, the NUM and Solidarity,” Aquarius Platinum said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company had resolved to repair the divisions in good faith as a matter of urgency in the interests of safety and constructive relationships going forward.
Aquarius announced early last week that its Everest and Marikana mines in South Africa had passed the Presidential Safety Audits in respect of mine safety, as conducted by the
DME. “These processes demonstrate that our mines are in good standing, and that the Board’s high regard for safety and operating standards is being adhered to at operational level,” said Aquarius CEO Stuart Murray.
This sparked off an immediate response from the DME, which came out strongly against the claim by Aquarius.
The DME said that although it had started its legal audits at a few South African mines, it had not yet released any reports on any findings at these mines. “The Department has therefore been highly dismayed by media statements made by certain companies claiming that it has issued them with a clean bill of health,” the statement added. “In particular, the DME would like to put the record straight with regard to the grossly irresponsible report or statement issued to the media by the CEO of Aquarius related to the ‘Presidential Audits’ conducted at their mines,” it said.
Commenting on the statement made by Aquarius, DME director-general Sandile Nogxina, said, “I would like to state categorically that the DME has not yet cleared any South African mine as part of the audit process. The reports of the full audits have not been completed or released yet, so there is really no basis for companies to be claiming clean bills of heath at this point.”
Caption, Pic 1: An overview of the Aquarius Marikana operation – one of the mines involved in the safety audit issue between the company and the DME..