Platinum miner Aquarius Platinum said on Thursday it has undertaken a critical and comprehensive review of the mine plan and safety procedures and practices at the Blue Ridge Platinum Mine in Mpumalanga Province following two fatal accidents that occurred at the mine in the past month.
“An investigation into the incidents is underway, and the Board and management of Aquarius extend their sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of the men who died,” the company said.
Following the second fatality, mining operations at Blue Ridge were subject to a Section 54 suspension.
Management at the mine extended this suspension, keeping the mine closed for a two week period during which time the mining contractor has undertaken the retraining of all the workers at the mine as a precautionary measure. Mining operations recommenced on 28 June 2010.
Following this comprehensive safety review, Aquarius has refocussed its 12 month strategy for Blue Ridge on safe, productive mining with the generation of greater redundancy of mineable reserves.
Although the temporary suspension of mining activities and the review of safety systems and the mine plan will slow the ramp-up of the mine and have a negative impact on production in the short term, these measures will provide for safer and more sustainable output over the long term.
Stuart Murray, CEO of Aquarius, said: “Aquarius considers the safety of its mines to be a primary concern, and the fatalities at the Blue Ridge mine are both unacceptable and deeply regrettable.
We will do whatever is required to ensure that production at this mine is accomplished as safely and sustainably as is the case at Aquarius’ other operations and meets our aim of constantly improving our safety track record. At this stage this means that in the interests of safety it is more prudent to slow the ramp-up of the mine and review certain aspects of the existing mine plan to further conform it to our standards and ensure the ongoing safety of personnel on our mines.”
I-Net Bridge | Thu, 01 Jul 2010 11:24