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Four dead in Goldfields accidents

The twin-shaft complex
at South Deep, where
one of this week’s
fatal accidents occurred
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 April 2008 – Four mineworkers were fatally injured in two separate underground accidents at Gold Fields Limited’s Driefontein and South Deep gold mines on the West Rand.

A company media release issued here confirmed that three employees at Driefontein lost their lives as a result of a fall of ground in a stope 1 900m below surface at No 10 Shaft. Two others were injured – one of them seriously – and taken to hospital for treatment. The accident followed a seismic event of 1.7 magnitude.

The release also reported that in a separate accident a driller’s assistant was fatally injured in a fall of ground at South Deep. The accident happened in a development end on 100 level of the Twin Shaft complex –2 700m below surface.

Investigations into both accidents will be carried out by the respective mine management teams, as well as the Department of Minerals and Energy, the statement added, and the trade unions have also been informed.

The names of the deceased and injured are being withheld until next of kin have been informed.

Gold Fields head of South African operations Vishnu Pillay said: “These accidents have occurred despite considerable efforts to improve management of safety at our operations. We remain committed to our quest of achieving zero harm at all our operations. Safety is still our number one priority.”