African Barrick Gold halts production at Tanzanian mine after accident
The group is working to rescue miners trapped by a fall of ground at its Bulyanhulu mine
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) -
African Barrick Gold (ABG) suspended production at its Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania on Tuesday while it worked to rescue miners trapped by a fall of ground, the company said.
It said rescue workers recovered the body of one miner late on Tuesday and two more were trapped 900 metres below ground in the mine, which is 55 km (34 miles) south of Lake Victoria and has estimated reserves of more than 10 million ounces.
"Ongoing rescue efforts include clearing by hand and using lifting equipment to remove the larger rocks, also remote loaders to help clear the debris," said Teweli K. Teweli, Barrick's spokesman.
"The rescue team were able to speak directly to the trapped miners through the broken rock. The leaky feeder cables that are run throughout the mine are designed to allow communication and they were intact enough to allow for communication," he said.
Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO: Quote) said last month it was spinning off its African gold assets into a new London-listed company called African Barrick Gold. It will become the biggest British-based gold miner when it starts trading in April.
African Barrick Gold said the accident at Tanzania's biggest underground gold mine happened in the early hours of Tuesday.
The last fatality at the mine was in February 2006, when rock fell and killed one miner.
Bulyanhulu gold mine processed 959,150 tonnes of ore in 2009 and produced 249,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $651 per ounce of gold sold.
The mine forecasts 2010 gold production of 260,000 ounces, at a total cash cost of $545 per ounce. (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by David Clarke and Anthony Barker)
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