Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 07 May 2010 – Six South African mine workers were killed this week bringing mining accident deaths in the country to almost 40 this year, but officials say that the fatality rate has slowed down compared to 2009.
Miningmx reports that South Africa, which has the world’s deepest gold mines, has a dire safety record compared to its peers in the industrialised world, and that the fatalities have led to temporary closures of mines by authorities, reducing output.
Solidarity union head of safety Paul Mardon said the fatality rate at mining operations this year had declined compared with 2009, but incidents involving falling rocks had been a major concern.
By the end of April, 32 workers had been killed in the country’s mines compared with 51 deaths in the same period last year, he added. Some 165 workers had died in the mines last year, compared with 171 deaths in 2008.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) “’ the country biggest union “’ reported that the latest fatalities had occurred at a Samancor chrome mine, where two workers had been hit by falling rock following a blasting exercise that had gone wrong,
Other deaths were reported earlier this week at Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited’s Joel mine, and Simmer & Jack Mines’ Buffelsfontein Gold Mine in the North West Province. Both instances lead to suspension of gold output.