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Second Harmony miner dies since start of 2017

Feb 20 2017 12:10
Eugenie du Preez


Company Data


Last traded 59
Change 4
% Change 7
Cumulative volume 4938615
Market cap 0

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

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Cape Town - Harmony Gold [JSE:HAR] on Monday announced that an employee was fatally injured in a fall of ground incident at its Bambanani mine in Welkom in the Free State. The worker was a winch driver who had been in Harmony’s employ since 2013, Harmony said in a statement. The incident occurred on Friday.

This is the gold mining company's second fatality in recent times. On February 1 Harmony advised that one of its employees was fatally injured in a scraper-related incident at its Masimong mine, also in Welkom.

The worker was a stope team member with close to 14 years’ mining experience. All scraper-related operations were stopped until further notice and a safety shift was declared, Harmony said. It added that an investigation into the incident is under way.

This comes as statistics for health and safety in the mining industry for 2016 show fatalities in the sector dropped 5%, to 73 in 2016. The major contributors to these fatalities were gold mines (30) and platinum mines (27). This was followed by coal mines (5) and other mines such as diamond, chrome, copper and iron ore (12).

The platinum sector, in particular, reported an increase in the number of fatalities by 29%, up from 21 in 2015.

So far this year there have been six mining fatalities, counting the latest two.

Major contributors to fatalities in the sector include rock falls, transport accidents and general types of accidents such as fires, falling from heights as well as slip and fall accidents.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said earlier this year that mining companies should prioritise health and safety performance, and not place more value on profits over the lives of workers.

READ: Mining safety first, profits second - Zwane

“If you cannot mine safely, then don’t mine at all,” he said. “We cannot rest until we achieve zero harm where a worker can go home every day, unharmed.”

Zwane said government is collaborating with stakeholders to improve the health and safety situation by enforcing compliance with regulations.

Harmony expressed its condolences to all affected by the fatalities. The company's share price on the JSE was down 3.02% to R 35.96 at 10:45.

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