It’s business as usual at PMC after six miners were killed

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Palabora Mining Company employees underground. Photo supplied. 

By Nkuriso Maluleke

Giyani- After the tragic death of six Mineworkers at Palabora Mining Company (PMC), Shaun Mashigo (26) from Namakgale, Peter Selowa (32) from Mashishimale village, Vula Mayindi (60) from Namakgale, Kgotso Sekgobela (29) from Maseke Moshate village, Lebogang Maake (37) from Namakgale and Russel Warne (24) from Phalaborwa town- the mine has resumed operations from last Wednesday morning.

The deceased Mineworkers met their tragic death two weeks ago after a conveyor belt caught fire underground.

The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has issued a notice of orders, suspension and instructions to PMC following an incident.

According to the notice issued, in terms section 54 (1)(A) and 54 (1)(B) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act 29 of 1996), certain irregularities were observed:

The refuge bay where three employees were found deceased was found not to be life sustainable in terms of air supply.

Life sustaining services installed to the bay were not made of fire-proof material or fire protected.

The conveyer belt can operate even if the suppression system is faulty.

PMC has also been instructed to withdraw all affected people, other than those who are required to assist in taking steps to fixing the place of safety and conduct a proper risk assessment on refuge bay design, location and standards in terms of regulation 16.6.

PMC is also instructed to immediately relieve the mechanical engineer appointed for conveyer belt C5, and 2.13.1 chief engineer from making health and safety decisions.

Furthermore, these two officials must prepare separate presentations to the principal inspector of mines stating reasons why their certificates of competency should not be suspended.

PMC is also instructed to stop all conveyer belts at the mine and fix deviations on Regulation 5.1 report completed during the 2018 report first quarter.