Bodies of 25 miners recovered from shaft

Harmony_Gold_mine_shaft_on_R30_to_Odensdaalsrus.jpg

Bruce Paulmac at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Police recovered 25 bodies, believed to be those of illegal miners, from a disused Harmony Gold mine shaft, near an area where 76 illegal miners died in 2009 in what was one of South Africa's worst mining disasters.

The bodies were recovered from the Eland shaft near the town of Welkom, following a gas explosion late last week, in an area where disused mines without commercially viable amounts of gold still hold enough deposits to attract illegal mining syndicates.

Illegal gold mining has plagued South Africa's mining companies for decades, robbing the industry and state coffers of billions of rand through small-time pilfering as well as networks run by organised crime.

Police confirmed that 11 illegal miners survived and believe that more could still be inside. The illegal miners are known in Zulu as 'zama zamas', which loosely translates as 'those who try to get something from nothing'.

"There was an explosion that erupted last week Thursday and as a result of that it caused the death of the illegal miners," police spokesman Major General Lerato Molale said.

He said it was likely the blast was caused by the miners themselves.

The bodies of 76 illegal miners were brought to the surface at the Eland shaft in 2009 following a fire that raged at the mine in the central Free State province.

Sibanye Gold is the first company to set itself a deadline to stop the practice, and has vowed to clear all illegal miners from its shafts by the end of January next year.

© RAW 2017

You may also like...

State of Origin to go north under Qld LNP

State of Origin to go north under Qld LNP

State of Origin legends Darren Lockyer (right)(Queensland) and Brad Fittler (New South Wales) attend the launch of the Origin Series for next year...

Hayne not worth his NRL wage: Sterlo

Hayne not worth his NRL wage: Sterlo

Titans player Jarryd Hayne reacts during the Round 17 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George Dragons at Robina Stadium on the...

Premier to visit site of SA power plant

Premier to visit site of SA power plant

A $650 million solar thermal power plant, designed to help end South Australia's energy woes, will be built in the state's mid-north. The 12,000...

Sierra Leone mudslide kills more than 200

Sierra Leone mudslide kills more than 200

A mudslide has killed more than 200 people on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, sweeping away homes and leaving residents...