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SA says biggest gold miners are risking workers’ lives

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South Africa has accused Sibanye Gold and AngloGold Ashanti, the country’s two biggest gold producers, of putting workers’ lives at risk in a constant dispute over safety stoppages.

Public comments from both companies suggest that they can be refusing to conform to the country’s mining laws, the Department of Mineral Resources said within an e-mailed statement dated January 25.

The two miners have criticised government inspectors as being too heavy-handed in temporarily closing mines for safety breaches, although Department of Mineral Resources?argues the lenders are not wanting to follow the law. AngloGold won a court ruling in October that blocked the type of closure notice at its Kopanang mine and Sibanye is suing Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and also other officials for compensation after its Kroondal platinum mine was closed.

“If companies cannot mine safely, they ought to stop being mining in any way, and should allow other potential holders,” Zwane said within the statement. “It is unacceptable that these particular organizations are settling on cheapen the lives of mineworkers in doing this.”

AngloGold has reduced operating fatalities by greater than 80% previously decade and has now “no higher priority” than its employees’ safety, the corporation said within a e-mailed statement late on Thursday.

“We still seek dialogue while using the DMR each and every level, with the primary objective of improving safety and ensuring fair and proportional applying applicable safety legislation,” the organization said. “Where there exists disagreement, we are going to continue

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