Minister orders probe into seismic incidents

Friday, May 4, 2018

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has requested an investigation into seismic incidents, which accounted for about 30% of fatalities in 2017.

The investigation will be conducted by a team of officials from the Department of Mineral Resources, Council for Geoscience, Mine Health and Safety Council, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) as well as rock engineers and seismicity experts, who will look into the matter in order to assist the industry to better anticipate and deal with seismic activities.

In a statement released on Friday, Minister Mantashe expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the four workers who lost their lives at Sibanye-Stilwater’s Driefontein operations.

The workers passed away after they were trapped underground following a seismic event at the mine on Thursday.

Minister Mantashe has urged rescue teams to continue to pursue rescue efforts for the remaining workers, while being mindful of safety.

The Department of Mineral Resources health and safety inspectors are on site as rescue operations continue at Sibanye-Stilwater’s Driefontein for the remaining workers still trapped underground.

“The gold sector has seen an increase in fatalities this year, with Sibanye-Stilwater as one of the main contributors. This suggests that greater attention must be paid to issues of safety, particularly the protection of the lives of workers, as opposed to the insistence of chasing production,” the department said. – SAnews.gov.za

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