A major mineshaft collapse at the Bimha platinum mine in Zimbabwe has resulted in half of the mine being abandoned due to safety concerns. The mine, located about 95 miles from Harare, is owned by Zimplats. It is the largest of four mines that the company operates.
A large ground shear, known as the Mutambra Shear, runs through half of the area, and started destabilzing last year. Sensors placed through the mine after previous, smaller incidents gave the workers plenty of time to evacuate before this major underground collapse. The miners were able to bring out the drilling equipment with them before the collapse.
Zimplats says that access to half of the deposits at Bimha has been cut off, reducing the mine’s output by 50% to 45,000 ounces of platinum. It is estimated that it will take more than 4 years to reconnect to the abandoned deposits.