Probe into Harmony Gold mine fire

FEBRUARY 23, 2015

Harmony Gold Mining Company and the Department of Mineral Resources are to launch an investigation into the cause of an underground fire that started at Kusasalethu Gold Mine in Carletonville at the weekend.

On Sunday, 486 employees were trapped underground after a fire reportedly started during maintenance work on a bulk air cooler about 2 300 metres below surface.

Harmony said late last night that all trapped miners had been brought to safety after a successful operation by mine rescue teams. They had been deployed underground to contain the fire.

Harmony Gold CEO Graham Briggs was grateful that all employees had been brought to surface without injury.

“This is to the credit of our systems, employees, the unions and mine management, who have worked tirelessly over the past 12 hours. I also want to extend our thanks to mine rescue services for their efforts,” Briggs said.

Earlier on Sunday, President Jacob Zuma expressed shock and concern for the miners, urging that everything possible be done to ensure their safe rescue. He asked the nation to keep them in their thoughts and prayers. – SAnews.gov.za