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120 miners killed from January to July 2023

The 110 accidents resulted in 120 fatalities and 92 percent of the accidents reported during the period under review occurred underground, with large-scale operations contributing 18 percent to the total accidents.

The mining industry recorded an increase in mining accidents during the period January to July 2023, compared to the same period last year.

According to the latest State of Mining Industry Survey Report for 2024 released by the Chamber of Mines last week, the mining industry reported 110 fatal accidents during the period January to July 2023, compared to 106 fatal accidents during the same period last year.

Part of the report reads:

Of the 20 accidents reported for large-scale mines, 80 percent were in underground operations. Illegal mining operations contributed 22 percent to the total number of accidents. The small-scale mining industry contributed 60 percent to the total number of fatal accidents.

Chamber of Mines president, Thomas Gono, said that there is a need to educate miners on safe mining methods.

We are in the process of segmenting the country into different mining districts and identifying large and small-scale miners.

On a quarterly basis, we are going to have stakeholder meetings to discuss safe mining practices to indicate to miners that sustainable mining is more beneficial than haphazard mining.

We are of the view that the awareness programmes will reduce mining accidents.

Most accidents happen because of unsafe methods of mining, therefore, we need to also consult the Government.

Young Miners Foundation chief executive officer, Payne Kupfuwa, said they are concerned over deaths and injuries that occur in disused mines. He said:

As an organisation, we have come up with deliberate programmes where we are encouraging people to formalise by grouping themselves into syndicates of six to secure mining rights in different provinces and areas.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines said that most mining companies have adopted zero-harm initiatives, such as occupational safety and health accidents promotion and environmental protection in order to reduce fatal accidents and other negative impacts of mining on society. – (Pindula)

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