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Miners escape flooding


The water subsequently flowed down the shaft to the bottom pump station at the 835-metre level

Pictures show the flooded pump station.

UNDERGROUND employees at Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (KEM-JV) had to be evacuated after water flooded Du Toitspan Mine earlier this week.

The CEO of KEM-JV, Jahn Hohne, said yesterday that an uncontrolled flow of water from one of the pump stations at the 490-metre level entered the underground mine at Du Toitspan Mine at about 10.30am on Wednesday.

“There was a certain amount of bypass from the pump station that found its way to the 760-metre level, at which stage the alarm was raised and the mine was evacuated safely within one hour, as a precautionary measure. At no stage was there any risk to life or any injuries reported.”

Hohne stated that the mine employees were not exposed to any hazards during the incident.

“They waited for about 30 minutes for the hoist to take them to the surface and they were all unharmed.”

Hohne added that the water subsequently flowed down the shaft to the bottom pump station at the 835-metre level.

“This is the remote-operated pump station. Our engineers are working around the clock to restart the pumps.”

He stated that a full internal investigation has been launched into the incident.

“The matter was reported to the Department of Mineral Resources. Preliminary indications point to the source of the water as the 50 millimetres of rain that fell during a cloudburst last Friday night.”

Hohne added that their engineers were in the process of converting the water into a controlled water flow.

“The shaft is functional and we are hopeful that we will be back in business in the next few days.”