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Kusasalethu mine update: Minister Ramatlhodi meets with management, unions

Johannesburg: 23 February 2015: Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Minister of Mineral Resources, met with management and unions at Kusasalethu Mine today. The Minister was briefed on the fire that was reported at 09:40 yesterday morning, and on the safe evacuation of 486 employees.

Speaking at the briefing, the Minister said: “I came here to satisfy myself as to the real situation on the ground. We are very grateful that all of those who went underground have been accounted for. I want to commend the rescue teams, in particular. I have met with them this morning, and I was moved to see them risk their lives to save lives. They make us proud.”

“I want to thank management for co-ordinating the rescue efforts, in close collaboration with the unions, and for the measures they have in place at the mine, and the unions for their efforts. But most of all, I want to commend the employees, for doing what they were trained to do.”

The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) will lead the investigation, together with management, unions and employees, into the cause of the fire. Findings of this investigation will be communicated in due course.

Alwyn Pretorius, Harmony’s chief operating officer, added: “We will participate fully in the investigation into the events that led to the fire. Whatever answers are arrived at, from both the official DMR investigation and our own internal enquiry, will be used to inform measures to be taken to prevent a recurrence.”

“We are, of course, gratified that the systems we had in place – starting with the refuge bays and the incredibly courageous and well-trained Mine Rescue team members – worked so effectively. To the rescue teams, Harmony management offers its gratitude and admiration.”

Harmony acknowledges all involved – employees, the unions, mine management and members of the DMR safety inspectorate – who worked so hard yesterday to ensure the positive outcome to a potentially dangerous situation.

 

For more details contact:

Charmane Russell
+27 (0) 82 372 5816 (mobile)

Memory Johnstone
+27 (0) 82 719 3081 (mobile)

Pam McLeod
+27 (0) 82 872 6387 (mobile)

James Duncan
+27 (0) 79 336 4010 (mobile)

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