Ministry suspends operations after fatal mine mishap

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MINES and Mining Development ministry Midlands regional mining engineer Noel Pasikwavaviri has ordered the closure of Primrose Gold Mine in Kwekwe following a fatal accident that killed one of its employees on Monday.

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The mine is a subsidiary of Kwekwe Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) which also owns Homestake Mining and Technical Services.

The deceased, identified as Gift Ndebele (26), reportedly slipped and plunged into a two–metre deep stamp mill discharge sump at the mine where he sustained serious head injuries.

He later succumbed to the injuries on admission at Kwekwe General Hospital.

“You are hereby instructed to suspend all mining, milling and allied operations with effect from 11 February 2013 until the completion of fatal accident investigations and all other provisions of the mining regulations compliance have been met with,” Pasikwavaviri said in a letter addressed to the mine manager Ignatius Shereni.

“After the determination of what actually happened, a cause analysis made and the action plan will be advised to undertake, only then will you be permitted to resume you operations.

Meanwhile, you are instructed to install hand rails besides the ladder from surface into the bottom of the water sump and also install a screen around the sump position to prevent any other person to gain entry to the water sump by any other means except through the ladder way.

Milling, mining and allied operations will only be permitted to resume after a reinspection has been conducted to check if rectification works have been done in compliance to mining statutes.”

However, the mine has since appealed against the closure to allow other operations outside the site of the fatal accident to continue.
In its report presented to police, the mine blamed the deceased for acting negligently and causing the accident.

Part of the report reads: “On entering the sump, he (Ndebele) did not use the ladder way provided, but instead crossed over the sump using a polypipe. In the process he accidentally slipped and fell down the bottom of the sump, hitting his head against an angle iron.”

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