Gwanda’s Blanket Gold Mine records another fatal accident

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BLANKET Gold Mine near Gwanda in Matabeleland South has suspended operations at its quartz reef area following a fatal accident which claimed one employee last Friday.

The victim whose identity could not be immediately ascertained was struck by a boulder while working underground on the night shift.

This is the second time in less than a year that the Caledonia Mining Corporation-owned gold mine has recorded a fatality at the mine.

In a statement Monday, the AIM-listed company said it had launched an inquiry into the fatal accident.

“Management has notified the Minister of Mines and Mining Development and the Inspector of Mines and will provide all the necessary assistance to the Ministry of Mines Inspectorate Department in its enquiry into this incident. Production in the section has stopped pending an investigation,” said the mining firm.

“Until such a time as the outcome of this enquiry has been reached, no further details can be released. The directors and management of Caledonia and Blanket express their sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased”.

The resource group’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Curtis added; “It is with great sadness that we announce a fatal accident at Blanket Mine during the night shift on the 23rd of February.

“I join with all of my colleagues and fellow directors in expressing our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.”

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Matabeleland South spokesperson, Inspector Philisani Ndebele, confirmed the incident.

“I can confirm that a male adult, aged 38-years who is employed at Blanket Mine, was struck by a boulder on the head. He then lost his footing but the safety belt he had strapped around his body prevented him from falling headlong down the shaft.

“His colleagues had the sound of falling rocks and immediately launched investigations. They discovered their injured colleague and rushed him to a local clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” said Inspector Ndebele.