March 6, 2020 / 10:36 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Three AngloGold Ashanti miners dead after rockfall at Mponeng mine

(Updates death toll)

JOHANNESBURG, March 6 (Reuters) - AngloGold Ashanti on Friday found the bodies of three miners after a 2 magnitude earthquake caused an underground rockfall at its Mponeng gold mine 76 km (47 miles) from Johannesburg.

Mining at Mponeng, which produced 244,000 ounces of gold in 2019, was halted until further notice with only “essential services” ongoing, the mining company said.

“Two bodies are being brought to the surface, and one is being recovered from the rubble. Everyone else is present and accounted for,” an AngloGold Ashanti spokesman told Reuters.

A “large fall of ground” occurred shortly after noon on Thursday in an area about 3.5 km below the surface at Mponeng, the world’s deepest operating mine, the miner said.

Four miners were rescued from the area on Thursday with non-life-threatening injuries.

It had been 698 days since the last fatality at Mponeng, the spokesman said, adding: “We have spent a huge amount of time and effort improving safety.”

AngloGold Ashanti last month sealed the sale of its remaining South African assets, including Mponeng, to Harmony Gold. (Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by David Evans)

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