Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 August 2008 – AngloGold Ashanti Limited – the world’s third-largest gold producer – says the government has ordered it to shut a second part of its TauTona mine in South Africa temporarily, following a fatal accident there last Friday.
“The decision to close a second part of the mine was taken after earth tremors were recorded in the area,” AngloGold spokeswoman Joanne Jones told Bloomberg News. “Together, the two areas account for about 20 % of the mine’s total production,” she added.
“Work in the second area – which accounts for about 8% of the mine’s total production – should resume later today,” Jones said. She was, however, unable to say when the first area would resume production.
Friday’s incident at Tautona was one of three fatal accidents at three different mines in South Africa last week in which three mineworkers were killed. The others were at AngoGold’s Mponeng mine and Simmer & Jack’s Buffelsfontein mine.
Bloomberg reports that the government is concerned about an increase in the number of mine fatalities, with 221 workers having been killed in 2007 – up from 199 the previous year. A safety audit of more than 300 mines, ordered by President Thabo Mbeki, is under way.