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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: February 15th 2013


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:: Leach Tank Incident at Freda Rebecca Gold Mine


At approximately 0900h on February 14, one of the leach tanks at the Company’s Freda Rebecca Gold Mine in Zimbabwe ruptured and collapsed onto a second, neighbouring tank. This caused structural damage to the two tanks and a discharge of leach tank contents onto the ground surrounding the leach tanks beyond the bunded containment area. Plant processing operations have been suspended and containment and restoration work has already commenced.

The primary concern for Mwana is the safety and health of its employees on site and members of the local community.

Five employees were affected by the incident. All five are in stable condition and have been kept in hospital as a precautionary measure. However, one employee suffered a fractured ankle and after receiving immediate attention is in a stable condition.

Mwana management, the local community and Government agencies are co-operating in clean-up operations. The Freda Rebecca Incident Response Team was immediately mobilised under the guidance and control of Toindepi Muganyi, General Manager at the Freda Rebecca Gold Mine. The Mine Inspectorate and the Environmental Management Authority have been informed and permission has been received to commence site restoration. Work is focused on making the area safe and assessing damage caused and implementing work to resume operations.

Mwana has always regarded the health and safety of its employees, and of the members of the local communities in which it operates as its highest priority and is treating this incident with the utmost seriousness.

It is expected that the incident will in the short term affect production volumes and in the medium term affect gold recovery. Management is confident that production can recommence within five days.

A full assessment and investigation is being carried out and a further announcement will be made as more information becomes available.

Kalaa Mpinga, Chief Executive Officer of Mwana, commented: “Our absolute priority is the health and safety of our employees at Freda Rebecca and that of local community members. We will put in place the appropriate measures to contain any impact on the affected area as soon as possible while investigating the cause of the collapse to prevent any future reoccurrence."




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