Mining firms to challenge safety stoppages
Local mining companies were likely to increasingly challenge the application of safety-related work stoppages enforced by the government’s mine safety inspectorate, said Roger Baxter, CEO of the Chamber of Mines, this week.
AngloGold Ashanti recently won a ruling in the labour court regarding a mine safety case it had brought against the department of mineral resources.
Judge Andre van Niekerk ruled against a decision by the department’s safety officials to shut down AngloGold’s entire Kopanang gold mine in Orkney in the North West last month, after finding mine safety transgressions, and ordered that operations resume there.
“Mining companies are going to increasingly make sure that they protect their rights,” said Baxter.
“If the section 54 [work stoppages in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act] that’s applied is legitimate, and is applied properly, we have no problem. If it is applied inappropriately, the industry will engage whatever means necessary – be it through legal action or by appealing to the department to get those things sorted out.”