Parliamentary committee demands to see report into Lily Mine disaster

The committee says it’s unacceptable that there’s no immediate plan to return the mineworkers' remains to their families.

Outside the Lily Mine near Barberton in Mpumalanga where more than 100 workers are trapped underground. Picture: Lowveld Media/Barberton Times.

CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources says it wants to see Vantage Goldfield’s report into the Lily Mine disaster in Mpumalanga.

On Wednesday, the committee was briefed on the mine’s business rescue plan that revealed that unless a new investor is found for the mine, the bodies of three miners trapped underground, will not be retrieved.

The committee says it’s unacceptable that there’s no immediate plan to return their remains to their families.

Business Rescue Practitioner Rob Devereux, from Sturns, told the committee he was struggling to find a buyer for the Lily Mine in the wake of the global economic climate and foreign investors’ perceptions about South Africa which faces a possible ratings downgrade.

Devereux says unless R200 million can be raised to re-open the mine, it won't be possible to build a shaft to reach the point, 50 metres above level four where it's believed the bodies are trapped.

Committee chairperson Zet Lusipho says this is unacceptable.

“Can the company continue to hold a licence? And it’s immoral, complete recklessness, ignoring a serious matter.”

Lusipho says he will also write to the Mineral Resources Department asking it to present its report on the Lily Mine tragedy.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)