Min­ing firms to chal­lenge safety stop­pages

CityPress - - Business -

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.”

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