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Harmony halts Bambanani ops after mine death

Jun 01 2015 12:15
Liziwe Ndalana
Coal mining


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Last traded 51
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Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

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Johannesburg - Harmony Gold Mining Company [JSE:HAR] has suspended all blasting operations at its Bambanani mine near Welkom in the Free State province after a fatal accident which claimed the life of one of its miners.

The third-largest gold mining company in South Africa said in a statement on Monday it regrets to advise that one of its employees was fatally injured on Saturday in a fall of ground accident at the mine.

In February, rescue teams brought nearly 500 miners to safety after a fire at a Harmony's Kusasalethu Gold mine near Carletonville.

It took the rescue teams 12 hours to bring to the surface 486 mineworkers who had been trapped 2.3km underground by a fire at the mine.

On Monday, Harmony said investigations into the weekend's accident are under way.

Harmony CEO Graham Briggs and his management team expressed their condolences to the deceased miner's family, the company said in a statement.

Harmony said in its third-quarter results report to March 2015 that it had two fatalities at its South African operations during the March 2015 quarter.

There were no fatalities in the quarter to end-December 2014.

For the March 2015 quarter, Harmony increased its production profit to R643m compared to R618m in the previous quarter, owing to a 10% drop in operating costs supported by a 6% increase in the average gold price.

The company said gold production for the quarter was impacted by slow start-ups after the December 2014 holidays, as well as safety stoppages.

As a result, gold production was 10% lower at 7 642kg in the quarter under review compared with the December 2014 quarter.

Harmony reduced its headline loss per share to 60 cents from 114c in the previous quarter.

Briggs said the company had responded to a lower gold price "first by rationalising our assets and then (by) restructuring our portfolio – cutting costs, reducing labour numbers and focusing on mining only safe, profitable ounces".

Harmony shares traded 1.89% lower at R17.61 in pre-lunchtime trade on Monday.

harmony  |  gold  |  mine deaths  |  mining


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