Atlatsa Resources suspends work at South African mine after fatal accident

9 October 2014 (Last Updated October 9th, 2014 18:30)

Atlatsa Resources has halted work at its Klipfontein open cast mine in Limpopo, South Africa, after a Mosotsi community member died in a blast at the mine.

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Atlatsa Resources has halted work at its Klipfontein open cast mine in Limpopo, South Africa, after a Mosotsi community member died in a blast at the mine.

The company said in a statement: "Safety of our employees and community members remains of paramount importance to our operations and mine management is working closely with the South African Police Services (SAPS), the Department of Mineral Resources and other authorities involved in the investigation of the fatality."

Following the incident on Monday, community members attacked the mine premises and caused damaged to contractor mining property and equipment worth ZAR500,000 ($45,399).

A property outside the mine site was also damaged and the house of a chieftain was set on fire.

"Community members attacked the mine premises and caused damaged to contractor mining property and equipment."

"This too is being investigated by the SAPS and community engagement to resolve any issues arising from this event is on-going," the company added.

Klipfontein open cast mine within the Bokoni platinum mine accounted for around 20% of Bokoni's total production; however, the company claimed that suspension of open cast operations would not affect its production as it had adequate stockpiles.

Meanwhile, the South African Government's Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources said in a statement: "The committee is not in a position to say whether operations at the mine should shutdown and can only express a view after receiving findings of the investigation by health and safety inspectors from the Department of Mineral Resources.

"Meanwhile, it calls on the mine to exercise extra caution while discharging their operations."

Committee chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo assured the public that the committee will look in to the consultation process before permitting the mine to restart blast operations at the site.


Image: The Klipfontein open cast mine accounted for around 20% of Bokoni's total production. Photo courtesy of Atlatsa Resources.

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