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Petra Evacuates Cullinan After Wall Collapse

Company closes mine for a day to assess damage and risk.
Oct 30, 2019 9:42 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Three million tonnes of material fell into the open pit of Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan mine in South Africa during a thunderstorm Saturday, the company said Wednesday.

The collapse generated a large plume of dust, which had “some effect on the local community,” Petra noted. As a precautionary measure, the company temporarily evacuated all employees and closed the mine for a day so that experts could assess the damage and risk. No one was hurt, as the company currently only carries out underground mining, and hasn’t used the open-pit deposit for 50 years.

The nearest Cullinan community is located on the southeastern corner of the pit, while the incident occurred in the southwestern portion. The miner will continue to monitor the pit walls to ensure there is no risk to the community, it said.

“We will take whatever steps are necessary, including the engagement of external technical specialists if required, to better understand this incident and any impact on future pit stability,” Petra CEO Richard Duffy explained. “The safety of our employees and surrounding communities continues to remain our key focus. Our meetings with our partners in government, labor unions and the community earlier today were very constructive, and their valued input is appreciated.”

Petra does not expect the event to have a material impact on its production.

Image: The Cullinan mine. (Petra Diamonds)
Tags: Cullinan, Cullinan Mine, Petra Diamonds, Rapaport News, Richard Duffy
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