Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 February 2009 – Production at Anglo American plc’s Goedehoop coal mine was scheduled to resume today, following closure of the operation yesterday after a mineworker had died in an accident at the facility.
Anglo’s Johannesburg-based spokesperson, Pranill Ramchander, confirmed reports by the Solidarity trade union that the worker died in hospital after being hit by a vehicle at Anglo’s Goedehoop coal mine in Witbank, east of Johannesburg.
Ramchander said both the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) and the mine’s management were conducting investigations into the cause of the accident.
“I can confirm we had a fatality," Ramchander said, “but I can’t immediately quantify how much output is likely to be lost.”
Coal is ranked as the third most dangerous mining sector in South Africa after gold and platinum, Solidarity said, quoting figures supplied by the DME. The DME has been routinely closing down mines on a temporary basis after fatalities, to put pressure on mining companies to improve safety.
The long-awaited safety audit on 355 mines nationwide revealed recently that that mine safety compliance was at 66%, and that parliament had made amendments to laws that govern mines to introduce stricter safety measures and bigger fines to negligent mine managers. The amendments are yet to be signed into law.