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minister visits mine of death

By | Jun 03, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

MINING Minister Susan Shabangu has visited the disused Harmony Gold Mining Company's Eiland mine shaft, where several illegal miners lost their lives, and promised to bring illegal mining to an end.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday at the Welkom Inn after visiting the mine shaft where 61 people died trying to dig gold, Shabangu said: "Illegal mining threatens our economy. It also contributes to human trafficking."

She said investigations had shown that most of the miners were from outside South Africa.

"They are brought here under the illusion that they will get better pay. These activities are organised," Shabangu said.

"There are syndicates in which certain individuals are beneficiaries."

"Illicit mining in this country must come to an end. What goes on here cannot be tolerated," Shabangu said.

Harmony Gold CEO Graham Briggs said illegal mining in the area dated back to 1999. He said miners broke seals to gain entry underground.

He said according to their information, the miners were killed by smoke or gas inhalation.


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