Saturday, January 22, 2022

Debswana investigations of Jwaneng mine slope failure still ongoing

Months after the slope failure that claimed the life of an employee at Jwaneng mine, Debswana is still undertaking several technical investigations to enable them understand the geological make-up of the rock structure and how it could have interfaced with any other causes to result in the slope failure.

Having completed the preliminary and legal investigations, Debswana says it will not release the findings of the internal investigations to the public as the information is only for internal consumption. The company says it is still in the process of engaging various stakeholders.

“In the meantime, all recommendations from initial reports have been implemented in terms of enhancing safety, systems, policies, procedures, planning and training,” the company reports.

During the end of the first quarter of the year, a wall at the mine collapsed resulting in the suspensions of three senior mine workers and the death of a mine employee.

“Our policy is not to discuss individual employee issues with the press or public,” the company responded to the question of what happened to the suspended employees. “We can however inform you that internal proceedings are ongoing.”

However, at the recent 30th commemoration for Jwaneng mine, President Ian Khama said that he has been reliably informed that despite the slope failure, the safety record of the mine is impressive.
Khama encouraged the mine to maintain its excellent safety record, as the mine continues to experience a drop in the Lost Time Injury frequency rate.

“In your quest to mine diamonds safely and responsibly, you have introduced a number of safety initiatives, including Jwaneng Premier Safety League, a programme aimed at embedding positive behavior and attitudes to safety as well as Near-Hit Reporting programme,”said Khama.

Debswana also asserts that the appointment of Balisi Banyongo, the current general manager of Jwaneng mine, to the Debswana corporate centre had nothing to do with the slope failure. Albert Milton, current GM of Morupule Colliery will assume the role upon Bonyongo’s departure.

“The changes are purely business based and besides the two, there have been a number of other changes within the Group of Companies,” Debswana reports.

Meanwhile the company reports that the affected area of the pit has been barricaded with the plan to mine the waste. Other parts of the pit continue to be mined.

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