South Africa. Harmony Gold Mining Company reported that they have shut down a key part of their central plant after a worker was killed at their Free State operation.
Chief operating officer of Harmony’s south region, Tom Smith, reported that the investigations into the cause of the incident, which happened on Tuesday the 17th of March, were completed on Wednesday the 18th of March 2009. The company had began repairs on the damaged sections of the plant.
Tom Smith reported that damaged section, which was the main intake section of the central plant, had been shut down and he believed that the measures they were asked to implement by the authorities would be complete on the night of the 18th of March, and that it was likely that the plant would be up and running by the 19th.
There are 168 reported deaths in South African mines in 2008, which is 24 percent less than the reported number in 2007. However, over 30 miners have died in 2009.
The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) conducted accident investigations at Harmony’s central plant. As a method of reducing Health and Safety incidents the DME will routinely order the temporary shutdown of an operation when a death occurs.
Harmony Gold’s rival company AngloGold Ashanti also had to temporarily shut down operations for a second time after a worker died from a fall on the 16th of March.
The estimated production loss due to Harmony Gold’s temporary closure is about 45 kg (1,447 ounces) each day operations are closed.