Three miners die at mining operations in Free State and North West

The union said two deaths were reported at Harmony Gold’s Free State operations and third at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Bambanani shaft in the North West.
The union said two deaths were reported at Harmony Gold’s Free State operations and third at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Bambanani shaft in the North West.
Image: Gallo Images/ iStockphoto

Three miners died at mining operations in the Free State and North West in the past week, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said on Sunday.

The union said two deaths were reported at Harmony Gold’s Free State operations and a third at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Bambanani shaft in the North West.

In the first incident on Saturday, January 11, a locomotive driver who was on night shift died in a mud-rush incident.

“Reportedly, the worker went to inspect the box chute, which conveys ore into locomotive carriers and, for some reason yet unknown, the box opened and overwhelmed him with collected ore,” Amcu’s Gabriel Nkosi said.

On Tuesday, a mineworker was found dead underground at Phakisa mine.

In the third incident at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kroondal operations, near Rustenburg on Friday, a rock drill operator died after a fall of ground.

“On Tuesday, January 13, a mineworker was found dead underground at Phakisa mine, after he was absent from the end of night shift. We await the conclusion of the investigation.

“On Friday, January 17, we received a report of another fatality at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Bambanani Shaft at their Kroondal operations, near Rustenburg. A rock drill operator (RDO) was tragically killed in a fall of ground incident. He was a Mozambican national. Investigations are under way.

“This is a tragic start to 2020,” said Nkosi.

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