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Fatal accident at N Cape mine

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“VZI is working with the DMRE on lifting the conditions pertaining to the Section 54 notice which had been issued.”

FILE PHOTO

A FATAL accident at Black Mountain Mine (BMM) in the Northern Cape on Friday night, January 10, 2020, has claimed the life of a young mother.

Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) confirmed yesterday that Venessa Plagg, who worked as a mining operator at Black Mountain Mine Deeps Shaft, was fatally injured in an isolated fall of ground that occurred at approximately 11pm on Friday night at Deeps Level 49.

She leaves her husband, Melvin Plagg, who also works at BMM, and two young daughters.

“All production at the Deeps operation has been suspended. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has been informed, and the DMRE’s Chief Inspector of Mines for the Northern Cape joined management and unions for an underground site inspection on Saturday,” the company said.

“VZI is working with the DMRE on lifting the conditions pertaining to the Section 54 notice which had been issued.”

Devastated

VZI CEO Deshnee Naidoo said: “We are devastated by this tragic loss, and offer our sincere condolences to Venessa’s family, especially Melvin and her two daughters. We offer all our support to them during this terrible time.”

Black Mountain Mining (BMM) comprises the Deeps and Swartberg Shafts, and the Gamsberg Project in Aggeneys in the Northern Cape.

According to the company’s website, the Deeps shaft produces copper, lead and zinc, with silver as a by-product. Production at Deeps is scheduled to cease this year. BBM has been in operation since 1980 and was acquired from Anglo American by Vedanta Resources in 2010/11.

It is one the largest private sector employers in the Northern Cape, directly employing 962 people and indirectly employing a further 842 people (contractors and business partners). In total, BMM provides employment for 1 804 people with 80% being from the Northern Cape. The majority (60%) are from the Namaqua district (Khai-Ma and Nama Khoi municipal areas).