Number Nine shaft
at Driefontein
gold mine
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 06 March, 2008 – Leading international gold producer Gold Fields Limited has confirmed that one miner has died and another has been rescued, following an accident at the company’s Beatrix mine in the Free State on Tuesday.

Company spokesman Andrew Davidson told miningreview.com today that the one miner – a team leader – had been confirmed dead. The recovery effort was continuing, and it was hoped that the body would be located later today.

Davidson explained that the incident had occurred after the ground had shifted in a stope 750 m below the surface at the mine’s No. 1 shaft. It was determined that surveyor and his assistant were missing, and rescue teams were called in immediately.

They located and were able to communicate with the surveyor, but found no immediate trace of his assistant. The surveyor was recovered after 22 hours, taken to surface and admitted to hospital, but is in good shape.

“Recovery efforts for the body of the missing miner are continuing,” Davidson said, “and all mining activity in the immediate area of the accident has been halted until the body is recovered.”

The fatal accident at Beatrix came immediately after the announcement by Gold Fields of a unique mine safety achievement, with two of its operations – Driefontein gold mine on the West Rand and Beatrix gold mine – achieving one million fatality-free shifts.