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Rescue operations underway at Redwing Mine

Rescue operations underway at Redwing Mine

Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

RESCUE operations are underway at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga where more than 10 miners were trapped underground on Thursday, with government supporting the rescue mission.

According to personnel leading the rescue mission, the mine is being secured to ensure it is safe to reach the area housing the trapped miners.

Rescue Operations Team Leader Blessing Mashange says it will take at least a day to secure the shaft to successfully rescue the miners who are more than 50 metres underground.

“We are sure of the time we will take to complete the rescue mission but we will spend the whole day securing the shaft. The ventilation is good hence there is possibility that the trapped miners might be alive,” he said.

Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Advocate Misheck Mugadza pledged to continue mobilising support for the rescue mission.

“We are very saddened by the collapse of the mine due to an earth tremor but, i am very happy that all government systems have been activated and the rescue operations are in progress. The earth movements that was threatening the rescue operations have stopped and the ground is stable. We are going to give support to make the rescue mission a success,” he said.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Honourable Zhemu Soda who visited the mining area this Friday spoke on the obtaining situation and measures to prevent more disasters during rescue operations.

“About 15 people are said to be trapped underground. What we observed when we arrived is that there was a tremor which affected number of shafts but we are still to ascertain the actual cause. Yesterday two rescue mission attempts were made but were aborted as the ground was still carving in.

“They rescue team have now developed a strategy to rescue the miners. In the interim we have asked the management to suspend all the mining activities within the vicinity of this accident so that we don’t continue to encounter similar accidents while the rescue operations are being conducted,” he said.

Turning to measures to curb accidents in the mining sector, Minister Soda said mine audits and inspections will be intensified, with non-complaint mines set to be closed.

“We were mandated by cabinet once again to ensure that mining inspections are done religiously when they are due. We are observing that most of the mining activities are not complying with the ESG and also governance issues. There was a tendency to flout governance issues.

“He will from time to time observing governance issues relating to mining and where we find that mining activities will be carried out without compliance with requirements we will close the mining activities for the safety of the people. An inspection or an audit will be carried out before that mine resumes operations,” he said.

The accident at the Metalon Gold Zimbabwe mine shaft comes when the mining sector is recording one of the highest numbers of casualties, hence the need for authorities to enforce safety measures in the extractive industry.

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