Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM – –21 October, 2008 – More than 500 workers at Anglo Coal – the world’s sixth-largest private sector coal producer and exporter – downed tools today at the Greenside Colliery to mark the death of a fellow worker.
South Africa’s biggest miner’s union – the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) – told Reuters that the worker had died after being electrocuted while working underground on Saturday.
Around 140 workers have died in mines so far this year, compared to 221 in 2007 and 200 in 2006.
Mining companies have suffered production losses after fatalities due to routine shutdowns ordered by the government for investigations, and work stoppages by union members who have vowed to stop work for a day to mark the death of any colleague.
“Over five hundred mineworkers are today observing a day of mourning at Anglo Coal’s Greenside Colliery,” NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said.
It was not clear how much output would be affected by the stoppage – Anglo Coal officials were not immediately available to comment.
Anglo Coal – a division of global miner Anglo American Plc – is South Africa’s biggest coal producer for both the local and export markets. The Greenside Colliery is situated in Witbank, in the Mpumalanga province.