Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 October 2008 – Leading international gold producer Gold Fields Limited – the world’s fourth-largest gold producer – lost a total of 9 645 ounces of the metal when it shut two of its gold mines last week after workers had died in accidents.
Reuters reports that the company shut its largest and biggest Africa mine, Driefontein, on Wednesday after two workers had died following earth tremors. It was given the government green light to re-start operations on Thursday evening, losing some 2 411.25 ounces of gold.
Gold Fields also lost 2 411.25 ounces of gold per day for three days at its second-biggest mine, Kloof, which was shut from Tuesday to early Friday after a worker had been killed when a section of a tunnel collapsed.
“We lost three days at Kloof, which produces 2 411.25 ounces of gold a day, and about a similar amount at Driefontein for one day,” company spokesman Willie Jacobsz told Reuters
Driefontein produced 218 200 ounces and Kloof produced 179 300 ounces in the June quarter. Gold Fields is Africa’s second-biggest gold producer, and has gold mines in South Africa, Ghana, Australia and Peru.
The South African authorities routinely shut down mines when fatalities occur to get companies to make safety repairs and investigate the incidents. About 140 workers have died in mines so far this year, compared with 221 for the whole of 2007 and 200 in 2006.
Gold Fields chief executive Nick Holland has said that in the past four or five quarters, the group has lost an average of about 700 kg a quarter due to safety stoppages.