UPDATE:

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has granted the Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation (SSC) a loan of R190 million to acquire a 74% stake of Vantage Goldfields SA. The cash injection will see the mining community slowly make economical amends following the Lily Mine tragedy in 2016.

According to SSC group CEO Fred Arendse, the agreement between SSC and the IDC will see production resuming in the next three months at Barbrook Mine. “Once SSC Group has completed the risk assessment, and assuming a 1 June 2018 start date, we envisage the opening of Barbrook Mine within a three-month period, followed by Lily Mine approximately 12 months thereafter. The construction on the new access decline at Lily Mine will commence approximately September 2018”.

SSC plans on re-employing locally. “The employment will however be scaled and executed as per the build-up plans for the two mines and metallurgical plant.” stated Arendse. He added “As part of our due-diligence we have identified a number of the members of the previous management team whom we would definitely consider re-employing to ensure continuity in on-site management, when re-opening both mines and the metallurgical plant. We have also engaged with a number of the previous employees all of whom have indicated a willingness to be re-employed by the company”.

 


 

The morning of Friday 5th February 2016, was a fateful one. What started as a normal Friday morning quickly turned into a never-ending nightmare. A tragedy that took the country by surprise occurred as the clock struck 07h45.

The Lily Mine disaster that left three miners trapped underground, saw the ground caving in causing a crown pillar to collapse leaving a container trapped underground in Louieville, east of Barberton in Mpumalanga.

When the collapse occured, 78 employees were trapped intially but were rescued after hours of rescue operations. Three other employees (Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende) were unfortunately still trapped in a lamp room container, that they were working in at the time of the accident.

 

A YEAR LATER

It’s been over a year since the catastrophe at Lily Mine occurred. The fall of ground trapped and stole the lives of Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende. The container has not been recovered and their families are still seeking closure.

More than 800 employees were left jobless and without hope when operations came to a standstill but things seem to be turning around as Lily Mine and Barbrooks Mine have been given a life line by Canadian Company Galane Gold.