Golden Star Resources has explained that initial investigations into circumstances leading to the death of two of its employees at the Prestea Underground Mine suggest they succumbed to smoke inhalation sickness following exposure to blasting gasses.
Two employees of the mining company died on December 29, 2017 after they had closed from work and had gone home.
According to a statement issued by Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs Katharine Sutton of Golden Star Resources the company, after the death was reported, suspended operations at the Prestea Underground to allow for the initial investigation of the incident.
The statement however said the mine resumed full operation as of January 1, 2018.
Sam Coetzer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Star, commented: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of two of our colleagues. On behalf of us all at Golden Star, and particularly the close-knit team at Prestea, we extend our sincerest condolences to the individuals’ family and friends. Safety is our highest priority and we take great care in ensuring that all of our underground team members have self-rescuers and that they are trained to use them correctly. We are conducting further investigations to understand why this tragedy occurred and how to prevent it from happening again.”
Speaking in an interview with Skyy news, Corporate Affairs Manager of Golden Star Resources Limited Gerard Boakye explained further investigations are ongoing to establish what led to the inhalation.
“What happened is the workers blasted some rocks and managed to get away. We are yet to establish what happened to their respirators. Everybody including visitors to the underground mine has a respirator. So as to whether the two dead employees were not able to put on their respirators we are leaving that to the Chief Inspector who is currently conducting his investigations”.
“Our initial investigations show that the workers had their masks and the mask were working. Like we do every morning, we check to ensure everything is fine with their mask before they go underground. When they come back we check to ensure that mask is fine. All these drills were done. So we are yet to find out what may have happened in order to prevent future occurrence”.
Mr. Gerard Boakye, however assured, their mining sites are as safe as they have always been.
“Safety can be compromised by human error, mechanical error, carelessness, disregard to regulation etc. But to the best of our ability we are certain that our safety measures are top and crisp. So the need to find out what went wrong”.