20 De Beers workers lose their lives in South Africa

A tragic incident occurred on Sunday in South Africa, claiming the lives of at least 20 De Beers mining company employees. The accident took place aboard a bus that serves as transportation to the Venetia diamond mine, one of the nation’s largest.

The Department of Transport for Limpopo province in the north issued a statement reporting the incident, stating, “A bus carrying Venetia mine workers was involved in an accident on Sunday afternoon,” leading to the loss of at least 20 mine workers’ lives.

The precise cause of the accident remains undetermined.

According to a spokesperson from the department, the accident transpired at approximately 4 p.m. GMT, approximately 25 kilometers from the mine, in the town of Musina, situated on the northern border with Zimbabwe. “The bus collided with a truck,” said Vongani Chauke.

While South Africa boasts one of the continent’s most advanced road networks, it regrettably ranks among the poorest performers in terms of road safety.

The Venetia mine, nestled in the bush near the borders of Botswana and Zimbabwe, has been under the management of the De Beers group for over three decades. It contributes 40% to South Africa’s annual diamond production and employs over 4,300 individuals, many of whom hail from neighboring communities.

Once the largest open-cast mine in the nation, the site has undergone a transformation to compensate for dwindling diamond reserves. De Beers invested a substantial two billion dollars in an extensive underground mining venture, concluding open pit mining in December.

The group, with aspirations of extracting four million carats annually, announced in July the initiation of diamond production from subterranean mines excavated beneath the former open-air mine, offering access to rock deposits buried at depths of approximately one thousand meters.

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