Southern Africa-based DiamondCorp has temporarily suspended underground mining operations at its Lace diamond mine following orders from the Department of Minerals Resources (DMR) after an error with explosives.

The halting follows a ground fall incident that occurred in a development tunnel on the 310m level of the mine.

The incident occurred after an explosive error was being rectified, which resulted in injuries to a miner’s assistant.

After carrying out an investigation, the DMR ordered all miner’s assistants to undertake refresher training in handling and charging explosives.

“The DMR ordered all miner’s assistants to undertake refresher training in handling and charging explosives.”

Upon completion of the training, assistants will be recertified, with DiamondCorp then applying to the DMR to resume underground mining operations.

Operations are expected to resume shortly, meanwhile the plant at Lace will continue to process tailings.

The suspension did not have any material financial impact.

DiamondCorp said it will not be able to mine the target of 30,000t of ore this month, which is expected to be achieved next month.

Further, the company said that the incident did not result in any more serious or life threatening injuries.

The Lace diamond mine is located 200km south-west of Johannesburg, near the town of Kroonstad in Free State Province. DiamondCorp was awarded a mining right to the property in February 2009.

The mine at Lace is serviced by a tarred road to Kroonstad and the north, with electricity to the mine provided through the Eskom grid.