VGM awaits board of inquiry results

An aerial view of the Vatukoula Gold Mine outside Tavua. Picture: VGML

ANY steps that could be taken to increase safety at Vatukoula Gold Mines PLC (VGM) will be highlighted during a board of inquiry into the death of Avinesh Ram, a miner who allegedly
lost his life during an underground incident last week Wednesday.This was the word from VGM corporate services manager and special adviser to general manager Dinny Laufenboeck in response to questions raised by this newspaper.

“A board of inquiry under the chairmanship of an independent official appointed by the Mineral Resources Department continues into the fatality which occurred underground at the Vatukoula Gold Mines on May 2, 2018,” she said.

“As this is a legal process mandated by the Mining Act, please address any requests for information to the PS (permanent secretary) for Lands and Mineral Resources.

“Recommendations on what more VGM could do in managing risk to employees at Vatukoula will be provided as an outcome from the board of inquiry.”

Mr Ram allegedly died after he fell into a sinkhole in the R1 underground shaft on May 2 and became trapped under 20m of rock and soil.