MAC/20: Mines and Communities

S.Africa tells AngloGold to shut mine shaft

Published by MAC on 2007-07-24

S.Africa tells AngloGold to shut mine shaft

Reuters

24th July 2007

JOHANNESBURG, July 24 - South Africa has instructed gold producer AngloGold Ashanti to shut the shaft at its Moab Khutsong mine after two miners were killed in a rock fall at the weekend, the government said on Tuesday.

The Department of Minerals and Energy said senior officials would visit the mine on Wednesday to check if the company was meeting safety standards. It did not say how long the shaft would remain shut.

A spokesman for AngloGold, the world's third-biggest gold producer, confirmed blasting at the shaft had stopped and said the company was in talks with government officials and unions about how to make it safe again for workers. "After that we hope to be up and running again soon," spokesman Alan Fine said.

Two miners were killed after a rock fall deep underground at the mine in South Africa's North West province. Their bodies were recovered in the early hours of Sunday.

Fine said the mine was still in development stage and produced 14,000 oz of gold in the first quarter of 2007 -- just 1 percent of AngloGold's total quarterly production of 1.4 million oz.

Shares in AngloGold, which is 41.8 percent owned by Anglo American, fell 0.81 percent to 308 rand by 1258 GMT, roughly in line with a weaker Johannesburg index of gold miners.

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