The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has learnt of a cage-related incident at Impala’s 20 Shaft. AMCU then provides the latest provisional safety statistics for the mining industry.
AMCU has learnt of a cage-related incident at Impala Platinum’s 20 Shaft. Reportedly, the cage skip rope snapped early this morning, subsequently trapping nine (9) mineworkers. The rescue team was called in and, after an inspection, the cage was safely hoisted to surface, rescuing the nine (9) trapped workers.
AMCU has learnt that seven (7) contract workers servicing the vacuum pumps underground, could not come out from underground and the rescue team will use the 12 Shaft escape route to bring them to surface.
Four (4) employees are critically injured on level 24, with both the mine doctor and the nurse on their way underground to join the rescue team.
A cage is the shaft elevator, transporting workers to the underground.
AMCU prays that the injured employees who are still underground comes out on surface alive and well.
Update on provisional safety statistics:
Provisional fatalities in the South African mining industry are reported at 47, with injuries at 1271 year-to-date (as at 19 October 2020). These are the latest figures from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has learnt of a fatal accident at Harmony Gold’s Tshepong Mine, killing two mineworkers. AMCU then provides the latest provisional safety statistics for the mining industry.
AMCU is dismayed to learn of a fatal accident at Harmony Gold’s Tshepong Mine in the Free State on Saturday morning, 10 October 2020. Information is still developing but reports show that during cleaning duties two mineworkers were killed in a fall of ground (FOG) related accident.
Reportedly, no other mineworkers have been injured.
AMCU understands that the investigation is underway and no further information is yet available as to the cause of this incident. What we do know is that FOGs have so far caused the most fatalities this year, despite the Covid-19 shutdown. FOGs are also responsible for the most deaths last year and the year before. They remain the chief cause of fatalities in the South African mining industry.
AMCU expresses their deepest sympathies to the workers’ family, loved ones and colleagues.
Update on provisional safety statistics:
Provisional fatalities in the South African mining industry are reported at 37, with injuries at 1053 year-to-date (as at 28 September 2020). These are the latest figures from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. According to AMCU’s reports, the fatality figure stands at 42, including these two Harmony fatalities.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has received shocking news that three (3) mineworkers were trapped underground and that so far two (2) of them have passed away, with one (1) being rescued. The Union sends condolences to the loved ones of the fallen comrades but also questions the safety regulations at Sibanye-Stillwater’s operations.
Earlier today AMCU received reports that three (3) mineworkers were trapped underground at Beatrix Shaft 4 operated by Sibanye-Stillwater. The incident, which took place at around 11h00 this morning, is reported to be a fall-of-ground, and subsequently two (2) of the trapped workers have been found and declared dead. The remaining worker has been rescued and has been transferred to hospital to receive treatment.
“Our deepest condolences go to the families and colleagues of these mineworkers,” said AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa. “It always remains a deeply saddening event when one of our loved ones are taken away just like that,” he added. “We will await the investigation and inquiry to follow, and ensure that we participate fully to ensure justice for our fallen comrades and their families,” promised Mathunjwa.
Falls-of-ground are one of the most common reasons for mineworkers being killed at work. This year alone, a total of 15 mineworkers were killed as a result of this, and in 2019 the total was 20. Mining remains one of the most dangerous environments to work in, with the total fatalities for this year registering a concerning figure of 37. With these two latest fatalities today, this figure stands at 39.
“We constantly tell these mining bosses that falls-of-ground are repeatable incidents,” said Mathunjwa. “They know that these things can be prevented, but still the drive for more and more profit makes them risk the lives of black mineworkers,” he added. “Even though the gold price is soaring, their greed makes them lust for more and more. Just two weeks ago they [Sibanye-Stillwater] had a Safety Summit and we again pointed out to them that they don’t care about black lives. In mining, black lives don’t matter,” he said.
“It is now clear that this is becoming nothing but a genocide of sorts. We again repeat our clarion call for the Mine Health and Safety Act to be amended so that these mining bosses can be held accountable and go to jail, just like any other murderer must go to jail,” Mathunjwa concluded.