Gold Fields miner dies in series of tremors

A mineworker died at Gold Fields’ Kloof mine when a rock fell on him during a series of earth tremors early on Monday morning, police and a mine spokesperson said.

Police spokesperson Constable Audrey Sefara said the tremors began shortly before 3am.

Gold Fields spokesperson Andrew Davidson said: “Unfortunately I can confirm that one of our colleagues died this morning.”

Davidson said the man was part of a team carrying out cleaning operations and safety preparations on a stope at 37 Level, about 3 000m below the surface, when about five tremors, measuring three on the Richter scale and occurring between 3am and 4am, caused a rockfall.

A stope is a small narrow enclave in the rock wall of a mine. The shaft in which the team was working was closed at the time.

The stoping labourer died, but other members of the small team were brought to the surface safely, one with abrasions, said Davidson.

This is the company’s first accident in 2008.
Seventeen mineworkers were killed in its global operations in 2007.—Sapa

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