Worker dies at Zim mine

Aquarius Platinum AQUARIUS PLATINUM Picture: Supplied

Johannesburg - Implats and Aquarius Platinum have had a bad start to 2016 as the two miners reported a fatality at their jointly-owned Mimosa mine in Zimbabwe.

In a statement, Aquarius says the employee was fatally injured whilst working underground on January 4. There were no other injuries, it says.

The miner did not say how the incident happened. Last year, a fall of rock in August led to another death.

The company, which is withholding the name of the deceased is being until the next of kin have been informed, expresses its “sincere condolences to the family of the deceased”.

The authorities have also been informed, the miner says.

In 2014, Reuters reported that 7 gold miners died and 11 were injured at Zimbabwe's Golden Valley Mine when a hoist cage transporting them down a shaft broke loose and plunged into a pool of water. It also noted 35 died in total in 2013.

No recent publicly-available data seems to be available from that chamber.

Mimosa is jointly held by Implats and Aquarius Platinum in a 50:50 joint venture.

It is located on the Wedza Geological Complex on the Zimbabwean Great Dyke 20 kilometres west of the town of Zvishavane, 150 kilometres east of Bulawayo.

In the 2014 financial year, the operation produced 110 200 ounces of platinum in concentrate.

The operation comprises a mechanised shallow underground mine and a concentrator plant. Its latest operational report shows its lost-time injury frequency rate deteriorated from 0.26 million man-hours worked in 2013 to 0.38 in 2014.

In 2014, the last available figures from official sources, 84 miners were killed in South Africa last year, which at the time was the lowest ever in the country's mining history.

Of the 84 deaths, 44 occurred in gold mines, 15 in platinum mines, nine in coal mines, and 16 in other mines such as diamond, chrome, copper, and iron ore mines.

A total of 93 miners died in 2013; 37 at South African gold mines, 27 at platinum mines, seven at coal mines and 22 on other mines.

IOL

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