News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
26 Jan 2020
11:28 am

Blasting operations at Tau Lekoa gold mine halted after seismic event kills another worker

News24 Wire

Management has stopped all blasting operations at Tau Lekoa and all production shifts will until further notice be used to 'refocus on safety standards'.

Mines are being allowed to re-opened by government.

All blasting operations at Tau Lekoa gold mine have been stopped after an employee was killed in a rockfall following two seismic events underground near Orkney in the North West, mining company Village Main Reef Limited confirmed on Sunday.

Spokesperson James Duncan said in a statement the seismic events, measuring 2.4 and 1.6 on the Richter scale, occurred at about 14:00 on Saturday.

“The employee who died was working in a production area, some 1 350m below surface, at the time of the seismic events,” Duncan said.

Just over a month ago, four workers – Xolani Meva, 42, of Elliotdale and Lungile Nyawose, 32, from Lusikisiki, both drillers with 11 years of service; Katleho Nthibane, 47, from Bloemfontein, a team leader with 18 years of service; and Karabo Mabuthile, 35, a driller from Fochville with two years of service – died, following a rockfall as a result of seismic activity in the mine on December 6.

Duncan said management had stopped all blasting operations at Tau Lekoa and all production shifts would until further notice be used to “refocus on safety standards”.

“Management commits its full co-operation to the investigation to be held by the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate into [Saturday’s] fatality. The inspectorate’s investigation into the December 6 fatalities, which involves management, is continuing.”

The name of the most recent casualty is being withheld until the next of kin have been informed.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.