9 thoughts on “Romania’s Roşia Montana mining threatens environment

  1. Administrator on September 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm said:

    Grim economic context of Gleision mine disaster

    Here in South Wales we thought the destruction of the coal industry would have at least one beneficial effect. No longer would families have to endure the agonising wait to find out if their loved ones underground were alive or dead.

    But we were wrong. The price of anthracite—a smokeless fuel—is rising on the world markets. Private drift mines like Gleision are springing up around the Swansea valley, and wherever else anthracite can be mined.

    Dangerous though it is, people come to mining out of economic necessity. One of the four men who died at Gleision (Profit drive keeps miners in danger) had been made redundant in February and then found work underground.

    Conditions in some of these places are grim. There was no union organisation at Gleision. The tunnels in the mine looked like something from the Victorian era.

    A Swansea-based company called Coal Direct ran Gleision from 2006 to 2009, when it went into liquidation and was taken over by MNS Mining. The activities of these companies must be properly investigated, and the inquiry by the Health and Safety Executive into the cause of the flooding must be detailed and thorough.

    Most importantly, from now on there must be much stronger regulation of the private mining industry. But with deregulation and cuts to health and safety being driven forward by the government, this is unlikely to happen.

    With anthracite fetching a good price on the market, the result can only be more accidents, more injuries—and more tragedies like Gleision.

    Tim Evans, Swansea


    We’re being hit very hard by the cuts and rising prices in South Wales. Mining and steel have been important parts of our history. But after those industries were destroyed nothing came to replace them.

    Our young people are losing faith in the future. They can’t get permanent work that’s worth doing. The bosses know that working people are feeling the pressure and are trying to take advantage, putting the screws on people.

    What’s happened here at the Gleision mine is a tragedy. But it was only a matter of time. The companies come in and out of the area, leaving people hanging with no work when they go. And they don’t give a damn.

    Gareth, Pontardawe



  2. Administrator on October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm said:

    Manager arrested over Gleision Colliery deaths

    By Antony Stone

    Tuesday, 18 October 2011

    A pit manager who survived a flooding incident in which four miners died has been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.

    Malcolm Fyfield, 55, was held by officers from South Wales Police investigating the accident at the Gleision Colliery near Swansea last month.

    David Powell, 50, Philip Hill, 44, Garry Jenkins, 39, and Charles Breslin, 62, died after floodwater engulfed a tunnel where they were working on the morning of September 15.

    Fyfield was able to escape from the mine and was taken to hospital. His condition was reported as critical at the time.

    South Wales Police did not name the suspect, who was arrested in the Swansea Valley this morning and is being held at Port Talbot police station.

    The victims’ families and community leaders were informed of the arrest.

    Detective Chief Inspector Dorian Lloyd, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “The arrest follows consultation between South Wales Police, the Health and Safety Executive and the Crown Prosecution Service to review the evidence gathered to date.

    “We continue to work closely with the bereaved families throughout this process and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the communities affected by this incident for their continued support and patience.

    “We will do everything possible to fully understand how these four men lost their lives.”



    See also here.


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