TauTona mine shut, under government probe

A government inspection was still ongoing at on one of South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti’s larger mines, which was shut on Friday after a miner was killed in a rockfall, the company said on Tuesday.

AngloGold, the world’s number three gold producer, and in which Anglo American Plc has a minor stake, shut its TauTona mine after the worker died in the early hours of Friday.

TauTona produced 116 000 ounces of gold in the third-quarter to the end of September, out of the group’s output of 1,43-million ounces, but the company could not give a daily breakdown of how much was being lost in output during the temporary closure.

AngloGold spokesperson Steve Lenahan said he did not know when the probe by Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) officials would end, or when they would allow the mine to open.

Officials at the DME were not available to comment.

Shares in AngloGold lit up the bourse, trading 4,11% up at R291,51 by 9.02am GMT while the gold index added 2,08% as gold rallied to its highest in nearly three decades on Tuesday.

Spot gold hit an intraday high of $814,10 an ounce, its best level since January 1980.

More than 150 workers have been killed in mine accidents this year in South Africa compared to about 200 last year, and the country’s biggest miners’ union wants to halt output in the world’s top producer of gold and platinum in a one-day strike aimed at forcing companies to focus on safety.

The union is awaiting an official permit to stage the strike. - Reuters

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