PHARABORWA, SOUTH AFRICA, The Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, has questioned the quality of the underground conveyor belt at Palabora Mining Company in this town in Limpopo Province following an underground inspection of the mine where six miners were trapped by fire and died over the weekend.

Ordering investigations into the incident to be completed within one month, he said here Tuesday: What we have done is to identify a number of areas that must receive additional attention in the inquiry. We will have an inquiry, and we said some of the things that we have to look into is the quality of the belt itself.

“There’s a question that must be answered about its quality. Why did the pipes burnt down? They must be investigated further. That will depend on the inquiry. An investigation into an accident takes about a month normally, within a month we must be able to complete the investigation.

The president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Acmu), Joseph Mathunjwa, said there must be consequences for the Palabora Mining Company if it is found to have been negligent. Mathunjwa added that the fact that the workers were killed inside a refuge bay posed serious safety concerns.

With the explanations that we received from the management, saying there were doing a shut-down for six days to repair the main belt. If those workers killed inside the refuge bay that it poses a serious question. I mean as things stand it cannot be that workers are always being killed and there’s consequences to the bosses.

Meanwhile, the six mine workers who died have been identified by their families. Limpopo police spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe said the deceased were from various villages in Phalaborwa.

Source: NAM News Network