The body of the last miner missing following a fire in Harmony Gold’s (NYSE:HMY) Doornkop mine was found on Friday, bringing to nine the number of workers who lost their lives in the incident, the company confirmed.
Harmony CEO Graham Briggs repeated his personal condolences, and those of the company’s board of directors and management to the family, friends and colleagues of those who died.
“Families have been brought to the mine by the company, where they will be provided with the support they need at this time,” he said.
On Tuesday a fire started on level 192, which is roughly 1,700 metres underground, after a seismic event triggered a fall of ground, damaging electric cables. The mine is about 30 km west of Johannesburg.
The Doornkop mine produced 3,631kg of gold in 2013, or about 10% of Harmony’s total output. Operations at the mine, which has a single shaft extending to a depth of just under 2,000 metres, have been halted.
Last week’s accident is one of the worst since a fire at a Gold Fields’ (NYSE:GFI) mine in 2012, which killed five people.
For almost 10 years, the country’s mining industry has been focused on reducing mining fatalities. According to Chamber of Mines’ latest data, that there were 112 fatalities at mines across the country in 2012—the lowest figure recorded—compared with 220 in 2007.