Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mine firm given safety appraisal before deaths

Mine firm given safety appraisal before deaths

An independent report found safety issues at the mining site of Mesco Gold highlighting concerns at Incline Shaft #1 and #2.
An independent report found safety issues at the mining site of Mesco Gold. Photo supplied

Mine firm given safety appraisal before deaths

A recent inspection at a mine site in Ratanakkiri province where two brothers died in a workplace accident last Friday had found safety concerns in the company’s mine shafts.

Experts with Cmi Capital Limited visited the site owned by Indian firm Mesco Gold in April and made recommendations in a June report. The assessment was carried out for Angkor Gold, which has royalty interest in Mesco Gold and was part of a disclosure requirement for traded companies in Canada.

The concerns pertained to two of the company’s incline shafts, not the vertical shaft in which the two workers died. One of the recommendations included installing an independent emergency stop system on the skips, or the cars that carry materials up and down the shaft.

Other recommendations included erecting a reinforced wall between the area in which workers travel and the skip-way, with access doors between them, to protect personnel from debris; installing bulkheads with doors at every 20 metres to stop any materials from rolling down the shaft; and fastening loose wires properly.

“In the event that these matters remain unresolved . . . access to the man-way should be restricted to emergency use only,” the report reads.

John C Menzies, one of the experts who wrote the report, said the company did not conduct a follow-up visit as the initial survey was their only “mandate”.

The two brothers, Chak Sarith, 17, and Chak Sarom, 20, were killed after climbing into a bucket meant for carrying rocks, which fell down the vertical shaft. Sarith was not of legal age to work in a mine.

Mesco Gold Director Rajeev Moudgil yesterday denied that there were safety issues in the incline shafts, and referred questions to General Manager Sudheer Gulwade.

Gulwade, however, conceded the company was “addressing safety issues”.

An anonymous company official also said Mesco Gold had been making safety improvements and the Ministry of Mines and Energy had inspected the site in July.

“We showed them everything,” he said. “They also gave us feedback.”

Part of the ministry’s feedback was to ensure that workers wear safety equipment, such as helmets, belts, masks and gloves, he said.

Mines ministry officials did not respond to a request for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this