Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 17 October 2008 – Gold Fields Limited – Africa’s second- largest gold producer and the world’s No. 4 gold producer – has restarted operations at Africa’s biggest mine after it was forced to shut it down when two workers died
The company shut its largest operation – the Driefontein mine near Johannesburg – on Wednesday after two workers died following a series of tremors. The tremors hit the mine’s shaft No. 5 on Wednesday, killing one worker instantly, and trapping the second victim 3-km underground. Four other workers were injured, two seriously.
Goldfields was given the government green light to re-start operations last night.
“The night shift has started,” company spokesman Willie Jacobsz told Reuters. “We lost one day’s worth of production.”
South African authorities have routinely shut mines when fatalities occur in a bid to get companies to make safety repairs and investigate the incidents.
Gold Fields’ second-biggest mine, Kloof, has been shut since Tuesday after a worker was killed when a section of a tunnel fell in, and was still closed last night.
Jacobsz said the government was due to decide this morning whether the mine could be reopened.
The tremors hit Driefontein’s shaft No. 5 on Wednesday killing one worker instantly, and trapping the second victim 3-km underground. Four other workers were injured, two seriously.
Driefontein produced 218 200 ounces and Kloof produced 179 300 ounces in the June quarter.
The group is Africa’s second biggest gold producer, and has gold mines in South Africa, Ghana, Australia and Peru.