In The News South Africa

Lily Mine approaches IDC for loan to help retrieve remains of three workers

BARBERTON, January 5 – Lily Gold Mine has approached the Independent Development Corporation (IDC) for a loan as part of efforts to raise funds to resume the mission to retrieve the remains of three workers who were trapped underground in Barberton in Mpumalanga in February 2016, the company said on Thursday.
The workers died when a lamp-room container they were working in fell into a sinkhole.
The business rescue practitioner at Lily Mine, Rob Devereux, told the African News Agency (ANA) that the company needed R300 million for its rescue operations. He said the mission would resume at the end of this month if the company got the money it needed and the approach to the IDC was part of efforts to raise the amount needed.
“The IDC has agreed to support the rescue process,” said Devereux.
“The IDC cannot just give us the money. There are processes be to be followed. We have submitted all the information to the IDC. They have done the tests and the process will go to their credit committee on January 9. I will never allow people to go there [underground] now because it is unsafe. We will retrieve the remains and the mine will resume its operations after that.”
Lily mine workers Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyerende were trapped underground when a lamp-room container they were working in fell into a sinkhole created by a collapsed crown pillar. Rescue operations were launched the same month in an attempt to recover the bodies of the three workers, but later aborted as the mine was declared unsafe. Lily Mine, which is owned by Goldfields, subsequently applied to be placed under business rescue. A number of Lily Mine workers have since taken voluntary severance packages and left the company.
In June last year, Devereux told ANA that Lily Mine had secured funding of 20 million Canadian dollars (about R196 million) from Galane Gold, a Canadian mining company. He said at the time rescue operations would resume in September the same year.
Devereux said on Thursday rescue operations could not resume in September because Galane Gold did not stick to the business rescue plan.
The IDC could not immediately be reached for comment.
– African News Agency (ANA),

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