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Mantashe engages with stakeholders over Lily, Barbrook mines’ reopening

An image of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

15th May 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on May 15 held a stakeholder engagement session that deliberated on the plans to reopen the Lily and Barbrook gold mines in Mpumalanga.

Attended by stakeholders representing Vantage Goldfields, the Lomshiyo Traditional Council, the business rescue practitioner, organised labour and government leaders, the session sought to inculcate cooperation between all stakeholders involved in the efforts to reopen the Lily and Barbrook gold mines, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) said in a statement.  

The DMRE has given Vantage Goldfields permission to reopen the mines under Section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

The company is expected to sink a decline or shaft to gain access to the underground workings to retrieve the container and the three missing employees at Lily mine.

The bodies of the three deceased mineworkers remain trapped underground following a shipping container they were working in collapsing and falling into a sinkhole at the mine in 2016.

“We all agree that at the centre of our work is to reopen Lily mine, retrieve the bodies and bring closure to the affected families and fellow mineworkers.

“Despite the approval of the Section 11, which paves the way for the reopening of the mines and retrieval of the container, this is not the time for celebrations, but the time for us to put more efforts and ensure that the mines reopen in the shortest possible time,” Mantashe said at the session.

All stakeholders, including representatives of the Lomshiyo Traditional Council, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the Congress of South African Trade Unions expressed support and confidence in the efforts to reopen the mines, the DMRE avered.  

The business rescue process is expected to be completed by the end of July, after which operations may resume.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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