The gold mining industry received a further blow today (April 30th), following the announcement that the Driefontein mine in South Africa is being forced to close temporarily.
According to Money Web, the mine, which belongs to Gold Fields, will cease excavations after the death of four workers in two incidents in its mines yesterday.
It is not known how long the mine will be closed for, but it could trigger the interest of investors in gold as it will undoubtedly reduce output at a time when demand is high, especially from the jewelry sector.
Gold Fields spokesman Andrew Davidson confirmed the news yesterday.
"We have stopped operations at Driefontein until a risk assessment is done," he said, according to Money Web.
South Africa reported an 11 per cent increase in mineworker deaths in 2007 as the employees have to work in more difficult conditions in order to reach the deeper gold veins.
GFMS recently reported that global mine production in 2007 declined by 0.4% year-on-year. All regions except for Asia recorded declines, with Africa registering the greatest drop of 29 tons.
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