A female mineworker has died at Gold Fields’ South Deep mine in Gauteng during a rockfall accident following a series of four seismic events in quick succession, the company said on Monday.
Gold Fields said the 38-year old trackless crew leader was fatally injured after being struck by a rock after the seismic events on Sunday morning. Three of the events were between 1.4 – 1.9 in magnitude.
This is the first fatality at Gold Fields this year amid improvements in the group’s safety performance over the past five years.
The company said the deceased received immediate attention on the scene from her colleagues and paramedics but succumbed to her injuries soon after the rock burst.
Three members of her team sustained minor injuries and, after receiving medical treatment on the scene, were referred to hospital for a full examination. They were subsequently released from hospital, the company said.
Chief executive Nick Holland said management would do everything possible to support the woman’s family in their hour of need.
“Safety remains the first value for our management teams at all our operations and this latest accident will expedite a review of our already stringent safety protocols and procedures to reduce the incidence of and mitigate the impact of seismic events,” Holland said.
Gold Fields said South Deep would support the deceased employee’s family in accordance with a range of policies and programmes.
All operations at South Deep were suspended on Sunday in respect for the dead woman and to allow employees to access counselling.
Gold Fields said that the affected area – which accounts for approximately 10% of South Deep’s planned production this year – would remain closed until it was deemed to be safe.
The department of mineral resources will conduct the in-loco inspection on Monday, once the seismic rating has receded from its current high level.
– African News Agency