Rescue operation underway at Palabora mine

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IOL BR mining PIC001 Reuters.

Palabora Mining Company (Palabora‚ PAM) is undertaking a rescue operation at its underground mine and all production has been halted.

The company said on Monday that two workers who were carrying out repairs on a crusher became trapped underground at approximately 2:30am on Sunday 14th October.

The first of the trapped workers was successfully rescued at approximately 4:30pm‚ and taken to the local Phalaborwa hospital for stabilisation and then transferred to Tzaneen Hospital where he is recovering in intensive care.

Work continues to rescue the second worker.

Palabora managing director Tony Lennox said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by this incident. Our highest priority is the safe rescue of the worker still trapped underground. We have a highly skilled rescue team working to bring him to surface as quickly as possible. Our people are with the families of the two men and providing support. We wish the rescued miner a full and speedy recovery.”

Palabora´s Emergency (PROTO) team and a medical team are at the scene and additional emergency teams from neighbouring mines have joined Palabora to assist with the rescue.

Production has been stopped until further notice‚ it said.

Palabora is South Africa´s major producer of refined copper and operates an underground block cave mine‚ a smelter and refinery complex based in Phalaborwa in Limpopo Province. - I-Net Bridge


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