Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 June 2008 – Two employees of Kloof gold mine, near Westonaria on the West Rand, lost their lives today in an underground accident only 24 hours after leading gold producer Gold Fields Limited had announced the mine’s achievement of one million fatality-free shifts.
A company media release issued here today said the accident occurred at 02:17am at the No.4 Shaft. The employees had been carrying out cleaning duties in a stope, approximately 3 000 m below surface, when there was a fall of ground following a seismic event of 1.2 magnitude. There were no other persons injured.
All production at the shaft has been stopped and an investigation is being carried out by the Department of Minerals and Energy.
Gold Fields chief executive Nick Holland said today: “We are deeply saddened and shocked by this accident, which took place within 24 hours of Kloof achieving a million fatality-free shifts. It only reinforces the need for us to be even more vigilant and remain committed to safe working at all our operations. Safety remains the number one priority of Gold Fields and we will strive to ensure that no harm comes to employees in the workplace,” he emphasised.
On the achievement of one-million fatality-free shifts yesterday, Holland said Gold Fields was currently conducting a comprehensive audit of safety practices and safety performance at its mines in South Africa. “If we can go for more than 50 days at a deep-level mine such as Kloof without one fatal injury, then I firmly believe that our goal of having zero fatalities on all Gold Fields mines can be realised,” he added.”
Kloof employs approximately 15 000 people and mining takes place at depths of up to 3 km. The previous one million fatality-free shifts at the mine was achieved on 4 April 2006.