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6 trapped at Ran Mine, rescue team unable to access the area



6 trapped at Ran Mine, rescue team unable to access the area

mine collapse

Between four to six illegal miners are feared dead after a shaft they were working in collapsed at Ran Mine in Bindura on Thursday with the rescue team unable to access the area where the miners are trapped, it has been revealed.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) Mashonaland Central Chairperson Ms Christina Munyoro said the illegal miners might have dug through supporting pillars leading to the fall of ground.

“The information we have gathered so far points that 4-6 people are trapped underground. The rescue team seem not to find a way to go to the area where these people are trapped. We will continue to pray that a miracle happens but at the same time accept that the unthinkable might have happened,” Ms Munyoro said.

In 2020 about 40 illegal miners were trapped at Ran Mine after a disused mine shaft collapsed.

Mine accidents in Zimbabwe have been on the rise with the country recording 125 accidents and 139 fatalities during the first 3 quarters of 2022, a government official said.

Speaking at the National Mine Rescue competition at Jena Mine in Silobela last year, Deputy Chief Government Mining Engineer said the Mine Rescue Association should up its sleeves to help the Artisanal and Small scale miners who have contributed to the majority of the fatalities.

He also said that the office of the Chief Government Engineer was also taking the responsibility of reaching the zero harm squarely and would work closely with the Mine Rescue Association.

In 2019 Zimbabwe recorded a total of 116 accidents with these resulting in 182 fatalities, recording an increase in accidents in 2020 recording 158 accidents however with a visible decrease in fatalities recording 169 fatalities. In 2021, the country recorded a decrease in both accidents and fatalities as compared to the previous year with 121 accidents and 139 fatalities. As at 30 September 2022, the country has recorded 125 accidents and 139 fatalities.

“I note with great concern that the years 2019 to date, witnessed some serious increase in mine accidents and fatalities.

“These figures are unacceptable with an expectation of a vision of establishing a zero accident potential for all mines of Zimbabwe. Mine safety must be treated as a top priority by the entire workforce.

“In Zimbabwe, nearly one miner dies every week on an average over the last five years, 139 killed over the last nine months of 2022 indicates the disturbing trend,” He said.

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The Deputy Chief Government Mining Engineer said the government was working to establish very deterrent penalties on mines that do not uphold safety and health standards.

“I understand your association has noted the adverse impacts of these losses whilst you will be taking the responsibility squarely on your shoulders, the Chief Government Mining Engineer is in the process of putting in place deterrent penalties to make compliance a better option.

“We must not allow situations of this nature where occurrences of mine accidents take one life and cause loss of millions of dollars.

“My office has been running around the country to do awareness campaigns with small-scale miners and believe the message has sunk in the small-scale mining sector. They have since taken it upon themselves to try and copy you the big brother with the assistance of the Zimbabwe School of Mines,” he said.

Zimbabwe has been plagued with mine disasters over the last few months, often resulting in the death of scores of miners. Most of the mine accidents have occurred at illegally run disused mines, with a few happening at legally-run small scale mines.

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