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Tragic Road Accident Claims Lives of De Beers Employees

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In an unfortunate turn of events in South Africa, at least 20 employees belonging to the renowned mining giant, De Beers, lost their lives on Sunday when a road accident occurred during their commute to the Venetia diamond mine.

This ill-fated road tragedy involved a bus transporting employees of the Venetia mine, according to a statement from the Transport Department of Limpopo province (north), which revealed that the accident claimed the lives of no less than 20 mine employees.

Although the exact cause of the mishap has not yet been established, initial reports indicate that the incident took place around 4 p.m. GMT, approximately 25km away from the mine, in the Musina town, situated near the border with Zimbabwe in the far north of the country.

Vongani Chauke, a spokesperson for the local transport department relayed that the accident occurred when "the bus collided with a truck". Despite having one of the most evolved road networks on the continent, South Africa is plagued by a notoriously poor road safety record.

Operated by the De Beers group for over 30 years, the Venetia mine, strategically located amid the bush near the Botswana and Zimbabwe borders, accounts for 40% of South Africa's annual diamond production and employs over 4,300 individuals, many hailing from local communities.

Underscoring the dire reality of diamond scarcity, De Beers injected two billion dollars into an expansive underground mining project, halting open pit mining activities in December. The company declared the commencement of diamond production and aims to extract four million carats yearly.

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