MAC: Mines and Communities

China's explosive situation

Published by MAC on 2009-07-20

In April 2005, some fifty workers were killed in an explosion at the British-owned Chambisi copper mine in Zambia. See:

Their deaths were attributed to the "mis-management" of explosives, held at the mine by a Chinese company. See:

Four years on, and China's biggest steel producer is accused of failing to protect workers from a similar "accident" last week, to which eight people are reported to have fallen victim.

Eight die at Hebei Steel Group mine blast

Interfax China Metals and Mining

17 July 2009

An accident at Hebei Iron and Steel Group's Shirengou Iron Ore Mine in Zunhua City, Hebei Province, caused the deaths of eight people on July 11, according to a company announcement on July 12.

The company said the accident was due to the unexpected detonation of explosives used in mining. Six people were also injured in the blast.

Hebei Steel Group, China's largest steel producer, said it will immediately carry out safety checks on all such explosives used in its mines to avoid similar accidents from happening again.

The Shirengou mine produced 33,000 tons of iron ore in June this year and aims to produce 360,000 tons of iron ore in 2009.

Representatives from Hebei Steel Group were unavailable for comment when contacted by Interfax on July 13.

"The accident may force Hebei Steel Group to suspend production at the Shirengou iron ore mine temporarily. Meanwhile, the government could enforce stricter controls over domestic iron ore mines. Both factors should support prices of domestically produced iron ore," Hu Kai, an analyst from Mysteel Information, told Interfax.

Hebei Steel Group has nine iron ore mining subsidiaries that operate mines including the Shirengou and the Sijiaying iron ore mines.



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