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VENTURES AFRICA – Shares of gold miner, Harmony Gold, slipped almost 3 percent on the JSE’s early trade as the firm reported two other fatalities at its mines in the North West and the Free State Provinces.
The death at Kusasalethu mine in the North West occurred when a “backfill paddock” failed, killing a miner while the death at Joel mine in the Free State followed a blasting accident.
The two fatalities reported on Friday morning have increased the number of deaths at the firm’s mines in South Africa to 10 in just two days.
This comes after Harmony yesterday said it had discovered eight bodies of nine miners who went missing after fire broke out at its Doornkop mine on Wednesday.
On Friday, Harmony said no blasting will take place for the next 24 hours and embarked on safety shifts.
Graham Briggs, the CEO at Harmony, said safety shifts meant that managers will lead their senior teams underground to reinforce safety measures.
“Unions will play an important role throughout this process in facilitating engagement and supporting leadership,” Briggs said.
Briggs admitted on Friday that the past two days had been tragic for the company.
“Having lost our colleagues at three of our operations in three separate events is unacceptable,” Briggs said.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it was distressed by the killings and called on the government to conduct a probe into the deaths.