South Africa: Final Mineworker Expected to Be Recovered During Course of Sunday Morning - Village Main Reef

TheTau Lekoa gold mine in Orkney in the North West province.

A rescue team on a mission to recover a trapped mineworker in a gold mine near Orkney, North West, will resume their search on Sunday morning after an overnight ground fall forced it to withdraw.

Village Main Reef (VMR) spokesperson James Duncan said he was aware of reports that the worker had been found dead, but would not confirm this until the body had been recovered.

"We expect that to be during the course of this morning," he told News24.

The bodies of three of the four mineworkers who were trapped were recovered by rescue workers on Saturday evening at the Tau Lekoa mine.

Five workers had been trapped by a rockfall following seismic activity in the mine on Friday afternoon. One worker who was rescued soon afterwards remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

A team of more than 100 people - volunteers from the company's own workforce, as well as specially trained rescue teams from Mines Rescue Services - have been involved in the rescue, some 1 350m below the surface, dealing with difficult conditions because of the volume of fallen rocks and the threat of further rockfalls.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called for "drastic action" to improve the safety standards and procedures at mines.

Duncan previously told News24 they would not respond to any allegations about safety until the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate investigated the circumstances.

Source: News24

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