On 5 August 2014 AngloGold Ashanti confirmed that an earthquake rating 5.3 on the Richter scale occurred near their Vaal River operations – affecting their Great Noligwa and Moab Khotsong mines at a depth of approximately 8km. With Minelert Missing Persons Detection System in place, it took only 20 minutes to locate all 3,300 people working underground that day. The earthquake occurred late afternoon and by 7:30pm AngloGold Ashanti confirmed that all 3,300 mineworkers had been hoisted to the surface safely.
Mike O’Hare, AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Operating Officer for South Africa declared that, “Safely hoisting all 3,300 people to the surface after an earthquake of this size is an achievement of which we’re immensely proud. Our infrastructure responded as it was designed to, and our safety protocols worked as they should. Our thanks go to every employee, the contractors on site and the management team who together made this outcome possible.”