8 February 2016

South Africa: Lily Mine Closed With Immediate Effect, Says Zwane

Photo: Ollivier Girard / CIFOR
(file photo)

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Monday that, after visiting Lily Mine in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga, on Friday, the company agreed with the ministry that it should be closed with immediate effect.

"We are confident we will save the remaining miners trapped underground," he said at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

"I spent seven hours at the mine on Friday. We agreed with management to close the mine until we can guarantee the safety of the miners," he said.

"This is a good example of positive engagement with companies," he said. "We're not sitting in Pretoria. We went ourselves and saw the conditions on the ground."

News24 reported on Monday that rescue workers were returning to Lily Mine on Monday after receiving confirmation that three people who have been trapped in a collapsed mine for as many days were still alive.

The three workers were inside a lamp room when the mine collapsed on Friday morning.

The lamp room is near the surface and is used for charging, servicing, and issuing all cap, hand, and flame safety lamps.

News24 reported that a total of 76 miners were rescued after being trapped underground.

Zwane on Monday named and praised several mining companies for their safety record during his opening address at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, but warned those not named to get their houses in order.

"Issues of safety remains our priority," he said. "We are going to work tirelessly to engage with stakeholders. That is why I named those companies who went on a full 12 months without a fatality."

Source: Fin24

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