Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 April 2008 – Leading iron ore producer Assmang Limited has been ordered to shut down a furnace at its ferromanganese plant in Cato Ridge, about 60 km from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, after molten metal leaked from a hole in the furnace wall.
Reporting this latest development yesterday, Reuters quoted a Labour Department statement as saying: “A prohibition notice served on the company has effectively halted all operations of the furnace until investigations are finalised.”
The statement added that an inspection of the plant had revealed that on Saturday a hole had burned through the furnace wall, causing slag and molten metal to seep through. No-one was injured. The Labour Department said the prohibition notice would be lifted once the furnace is declared safe to operate by an expert.
The shut-down order comes just over a week after the department had lifted a ban on four of Assmang’s furnaces.
In February, Assmang – jointly owned by African Rainbow Minerals and Assore Ltd. – switched off all its operating furnaces after six workers died and four were seriously injured in a furnace explosion at the plant.