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December 9, 2019

Rock collapse at gold mine in South Africa kills four workers

A rockfall at the Village Main Reef’s Tau Lekoa gold mine in Orkney, North West province of South Africa, has claimed the lives of four workers.

A rockfall at the Village Main Reef’s Tau Lekoa gold mine in Orkney, North West province of South Africa, has claimed the lives of four workers.

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It was reported that one mineworker survived the incident and is in a serious but stable condition as he was rescued soon after the rockfall at the mine.

The seismic incident followed at least one earth tremor, reported Reuters.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said in a statement that ‘there was no escape route in the working area where the four mineworkers were found dead’.

NUM further added that Tau Lekoa gold mine’s proto team, which includes a group of trained workers to perform underground rescues, did not act spontaneously to save the four miners.

Furthermore, the team had intentionally stopped the team leaders and winch drivers from rescuing the four mineworkers, the union said.

The news agency cited Tau Lekoa mine spokesman James Duncan as saying: “There were two seismic events and then a rockfall occurred.

“Investigations on the causal factors are ongoing and we will be able to comment only once those are complete. We won’t be commenting at all on the accusations by NUM.”

Meanwhile, Village Main Reef declined to comment on the evacuation procedures until the completion of an investigation.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) was quoted by African News Agency as saying: “COSATU and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) leadership have been observing efforts by the rescue team to recover bodies.”

According to the March estimates of the Mineral Resources Ministry in South Africa, the death toll in the country has fallen to 81 fatalities last year from 90 in 2017.

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Dig deeper with our mining equipment forecasts

As ore mines ramp up and come on stream, the total number of active surface machines (including trucks, excavators, shovels, loaders, graders and dozers) is forecast to rise from 141,470 in 2020 to 167,367 by 2025. This will be a CAGR of 3.4% from 2020 to 2025. The largest contributor to this growth is expected to be trucks, particularly smaller-sized trucks with shorter lifespans, used extensively in parts of Asia Pacific. Underground mining equipment is similarly expected to see a CAGR of 2.3% in this same time frame, with the number of mining trucks and loaders/LHDs in active underground mines expected to rise to 19,853 by 2025. GlobalData’s extensive mine-site research and equipment models have been used to build a complete view of mobile mining equipment populations globally for trucks, loaders, graders, dozers, excavators and shovels. This report includes informative breakdowns by each major region and key mining country, and also by major commodity. Read GlobalData’s Global Surface and Underground Mining Equipment: Populations & Forecast to 2025 for a complete view of the market, allowing you to best position yourself for the future.
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