The true cost of Buffelsfontein incident

Gold production at Simmer & Jacks was down 27 percent to 555kg due to an incident at the Buffelsfontein Gold Mine that claimed the lives of three employees, the company said yesterday as it released its results for the quarter to June. The accident took place on May 4.

Simmers said: “This tragic event once again puts safety in the spotlight and the board has allocated some R12 million to boost spending on safety-related (expenditure)… to ensure safe working conditions as far as reasonably practicable.”

Interim chief executive Nico Schoeman said as a result of the accident the mine had been closed for 19 days to undergo an extensive safety inspection, and the impact of this extended closure on Simmers’ first quarter results was only too apparent.

Following the accident, the mine introduced a task team to reduce the number of Section 54 notices, which are issued by the Department of Mineral Resources to close mines for transgressions relating to health and safety issues.

Schoeman said that after the accident, 16 inspections were conducted by the department resulting in only two Section 54 notices being issued, neither of which affected production.

Revenue was down 21 percent to R161m and there was a cash operating loss of R55.2m, compared with a loss of R21.3m in the corresponding quarter of last year.

Source: Business Report

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