Saturday 7 December 2019

Collapse at South African gold mine kills at least three.

The bodies of three miners missing since a collapse at the Tau Lekoa gold mine at Orkney in North West Province, South Africa, have now been found. A fourth miner at the Village Main Reef-operated mine was rescued shortly after, he is now being treated at a local hospital, where his condition is described as 'serious but stable'. Over a hundred people were involved in the rescue operation, many of them workers at the mine who volunteered to help, following the incident, which happened in a tunnel 1350 m below the surface. 

The entry to the Tau Lekoa Mine at Orkney in North West State, South Africa. Edwin Ntshidi/Eye Witness News.

Following the event the South African National Union of Mineworkers has suggested that the collapse may have occurred when pillars of rock left to support the strata above were being replaced with artificial, concrete props. Village Main Reef have declined to comment on these allegations while the cause of the incident is being investigated, but has claimed there were two small Earthquakes in the area prior to the collapse (a similar collapse at the same mine in 2017 was attributed to an Earthquake), though neither the South African Council for Geoscience nor the United States Geological Survey recorded these events.

The location of the Tau Lekoa Mine. Google Maps.

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