/ 26 June 2008

Two dead in Gold Fields mine accident

South African gold miner Gold Fields confirmed on Thursday that two employees have been killed at the group’s Kloof mine, near Westonaria, west of Johannesburg.

A spokesperson said that the deaths occurred at Kloof’s number four shaft as a result of a fall of ground following a seismic event that occurred at 2.17am on Thursday in a stope 3 000m below surface.

The two deceased employees were part of a crew of five that had been carrying out cleaning duties. The other three employees escaped injury.

“All production has stopped at the shaft. The unions have been told and the Department of Minerals and Energy is investigating,” he said.

Nick Holland, chief executive of Gold Fields said: “We are deeply saddened and shocked by this accident which took place within 24 hours of Kloof achieving a million fatality-free shifts.

“It only reinforces the need for us to be even more vigilant and remain committed to safe working at all our operations. Safety remains the number one priority of Gold Fields and we will strive to ensure that no harm comes to employees in the workplace.”

The names of the deceased will only be released once the next of kin have been informed.

The spokesperson said a decision on the resumption of production will be taken some time later on Wednesday or on Thursday. — I-Net Bridge