SA mines pass safety checks

Aquarius Platinum said yesterday that the company's Everest and Marikana mines had passed the Presidential Safety Audits in respect of mine safety as conducted by the Department of Minerals and Energy.

Aquarius Platinum said yesterday that the company's Everest and Marikana mines had passed the Presidential Safety Audits in respect of mine safety as conducted by the Department of Minerals and Energy.

Everest was the first mine in South Africa to be audited under the newly-instituted Presidential Safety Audit system. The audits comprised two streams - a legal audit and a technical audit of certain installations and practices at mines.

These included, but were not limited to, design and maintenance with regard to the provision of healthy and safe working conditions, servicing and maintenance of all equipment and systems, communication systems, occupational health and safety policy, safety risk management, mandatory codes of practice, explosives control, water management, and public health and safety.

"In addition to successfully passing the safety audit, the Marikana mine also underwent the Department of Minerals and Energy's Mining Right Compliance Inspection, in terms of the 'new order' mining right granted by the department," the company said.

The Kroondal mine was yet to be scheduled for the Presidential Safety Audit, while in Zimbabwe, the Mimosa mine completed the quarter without a disabling injury, Aquarius Platinum said.

Chief executive officer Stuart Murray said: "These audits require considerable preparation in terms of management time and resources and mine management are to be applauded for successfully passing each of these audits.

"These processes demonstrate that our mines are in good standing and that the board's regard for safety and operating standards is being adhered to at operational level."

Murray said the audits had taken place during "a challenging quarter at all of the company's SA operations, where voluntary shutdowns related to safety matters had impacted on output. The SA mines are in good shape to improve production levels despite the number of challenges".

At Marikana mine, the return to work of labour continued, following the illegal industrial action. - Sapa

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