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Seven die in three mining accidents

The twin shafts at
AngloGold Ashanti’s
Tau Lekoa mine, where
the latest fatal
accident occurred
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 July 2010 – A total seven mineworkers have lost their lives in three separate mining accidents in South Africa in the past three days.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has reported a fatality at AngloGold Ashanti’s Tau Lekoa mine in Matlosana “’ formerly Klerksdorp. The trade union said the mineworker had lost his life yesterday after an explosion at the mine’s number 10 shaft.

This is the third mining accident in the South African mining industry in as many days. Aquarius Platinum reported that a fall of ground accident at its Marikana operation in Rustenburg had claimed the lives of five and seriously injured another on Tuesday night. A seventh mineworker had escaped unharmed.

And South Africa’s largest gold-miner, AngloGold Ashanti, has confirmed the death of a mineworker late on Wednesday night at its Tau Lekoa mine in North West province. The employee was inundated by a mud-rush, and his body was recovered early on Thursday, a spokesman said.

“We are distraught that at a time when we are to begin an in loco inspection here at Aquarius, there is another who loses his life somewhere,” said NUM chairperson for health and safety Peter Bailey.

The NUM said it was "shocked and highly perturbed" by the rising numbers of mine deaths at AngloGold in particular, and the mining industry in general.

“We need serious intervention from both the state and the mining industry. Workshops alone cannot help resolve the spate of mining accidents. Action should speak louder than words,” said Bailey.

The NUM called for ‘stiff action’ from the Department of Mineral Resources.