17 workers injured at AngloGold mine

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IOL pic may5 quake seismic seismologist generic Reuters File picture: Fabrizio Bensch

Rustenburg - Seventeen employees were injured at two of AngloGold Ashanti's Vaal River mines in North West following Tuesday's earthquake, the company said.

“AngloGold Ashanti confirms that an earthquake of 5.3 magnitude occurred near its Vaal River operations in South Africa, at a depth of roughly 8km.

“Early indications are that 17 of our employees at the Great Noligwa and Moab Khotsong mines sustained minor injuries and are being attended to on site by emergency medical staff,” said AngloGold Ashanti spokesman Chris Nthite in a statement.

Power was temporarily interrupted and had since been mostly restored, he said. Engineers had begun clearing shafts.

“Our priority is the safe passage of our employees from underground. Engineers are inspecting shaft infrastructure, and at those shafts where this work is complete, hoisting of people to surface has already begun.”

He said AngloGold Ashanti's West Wits operations were not affected.

Tuesday's earthquake struck after midday, shaking buildings and rattling pictures and windows, resulting in some buildings being evacuated.

The Council for Geoscience said the quake measured 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale.

The United States Geological Survey reported it being a 5.3 magnitude quake.

The council could not say why the US had a lower figure.

ER24 reported that a man was found dead following the earthquake.

“A 31-year-old man was found deceased in an old mining village in Orkney, in the North West,” said ER24 spokeswoman Luyanda Majija.

The man was found lying under debris.

Emergency workers were at the mining village.


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