HWANGE — Vice President Phe-lekezela Mphoko (pictured right) has commended the mining industry for its continued observance of safety and health management at the workplace since the Kamandama mine disaster that claimed 427 miners in 1972.
by Tinashe Mungazi
Speaking during the 43rd commemorations of the Kamandama mine disaster in Hwange yesterday, Mphoko said with the advent of other players in the coal mining industry, government was committed to ensuring that safety was observed at all times to avoid a repeat of the 1972 disaster.
“To date, the nation has several sound mining policies on safety, health and environment management. May I commend the ministry of Mines and Mining Development, mining institutions and players in the industry for ensuring that government regulations and policies on mining operations are adopted and effectively implemented,” he said.
A total of 391 Africans and 36 Europeans lost their lives on June 6 1972 when a methane gas explosion ripped through the Kamandama underground mine. Several attempts by the then Proto teams to rescue the trapped miners failed, resulting in the shaft being sealed off to avoid poisonous fumes from escaping the mine.
Mphoko said while the mining industry, through observing international safety standards, had the potential to shape economies, government was working on revitalising most mining operations such as Hwange Colliery Company by granting it more mining concessions.