South Africa. The potential for a cholera outbreak may be higher now after the deaths of four more illegal miners in Barberton.
Four more bodies were brought to the surface on the 2 March 2009. The General Manager of Baberton Mines, Casper Strydom, reported that with the four bodies brought to surface, the total number of illegal miners who had died there had risen to 20.
Strydom said there was an uproar in health circles last year when three illegal miners were found dead from cholera, owing to prolonged stay in unhygienic living conditions.
He added that a potential cholera outbreak was still a possibility.
The estimated value of the gold that is stolen from the mine on a monthly basis is between R 2 million and R 3 million on average.
Problems with mine-level security are a major factor in illegal mining activity with security personnel being bribed to allow illegal miners in.
CEO of Pan African, Jan Nelson believes that the only way to stop the ongoing illegal mining activity is for the SA government to appoint a task force that will track down the leaders and prosecute them. The illegal mining activities were also said to be on the increase with the rising gold price.
There have been over 300 arrests made since September of 2008 and most have resulted in convictions but that has not stopped the illegal mining activity and there is still the likely risk of legitimate mining operations getting infected.
Source: Mining Weekly