Chamber of Mines reacts to mine deaths

Chamber of Mines reacts to mine deaths

The Chamber of Mines said on Tuesday that it was “with extreme sadness” that it heard of the underground fire at Impala Platinum’s 14 shaft, which claimed the lives of four mine employees.

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“All four employees had donned their Self-Contained Self-Rescue (SCSR) packs but failed to reach a refuge chamber in time due to the thick smoke and lack of visibility,” said the Chamber of Mines, adding that “the employees were overcome by noxious gases when the oxygen generated by the SCSR units was depleted”.

The accident occured on Friday.

“This is a tragedy for all concerned. Our thoughts and condolences go to the families and friends of the deceased at this most difficult of times. This unfortunate loss of our colleagues occurred against the backdrop of improved industry safety performance over the years,” said the Chamber of Mines.

“Any harm done to every mine employee runs counter to our paramount goal of Zero Harm and further reinforces our resolve to achieve this goal every day of the year.”

The Chamber of Mines said it was “grateful” for the swift response from the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, who visited the mine and families of the deceased miners on Sunday.

“We also commend Impala Platinum and the Mine Rescue Services Proto Teams for their expediency in the evacuation of 200 employees to safety,” said the Chamber of Mines in a statement issued on its behalf by Russell and Associates.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased miners at this sad time. We will continue to work hard with the industry, government and organised labour in reducing fatalities and achieving our goal of each mineworker returning from work safely every day.”

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