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S.Africa's Implats says workers suffer minor injuries in mine 'incident'

10/22/2020 | 11:07am EST
Miners wait for suspended ANC Youth League President Julius Malema to address them outside the Impala platinum mine in Rustenburg

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) said on Thursday its ore transport system - meant to bring ore to the surface - fell at a shaft at one of its mines, resulting in some workers sustaining minor injuries and a halt in haulage.

The Rustenberg platinum mine, around 150 kms (93 miles) from Johannesburg, is one of the company's largest.

"There was an incident on the ore transportation system in the shaft. All our safety systems kicked in and nobody was seriously injured," company spokesman Johan Theron told Reuters.

Implats said it was attending to the injured workers who were at the bottom of the shaft when the incident occurred.

The spokesman said he could not give the exact number of workers injured or the extent of their injuries but said they were aware of at least two who had sustained minor injuries.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the majority union in the platinum sector, said four miners had been injured in the incident.

The injured workers would be brought up via an alternative shaft after medical officials attended to them, Theron said.

Investors have often raised concerns on poor safety records in South African mines, some of them the deepest in the world, and have been one of the factors why mining companies in the country trade at a discount to their global peers.

In 2019, South Africa saw a record low number of mine deaths at 51, versus 81 reported the previous year.

Implats said it would be conducting a systems check before transport of ore or employees on the shaft can resume, which it anticipated could take a day or two.

The affected shaft accounts for around 10% of the Rustenberg mine production.

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Promit Mukherjee and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DOW JONES AFRICA TITANS 50 INDEX 0.12% 498.19 Delayed Quote.-6.74%
DOW JONES SOUTH AFRICA(ZAR) 0.16% 1719.55 Delayed Quote.-5.17%
GOLD -1.59% 1807.12 Delayed Quote.23.38%
IMPALA PLATINUM HOLDINGS LIMITED -3.88% 159 End-of-day quote.10.79%
S&P AFRICA 40 INDEX 0.31% 161.47 Delayed Quote.-5.59%
SILVER -1.30% 23.2255 Delayed Quote.35.74%
THE PLATINUM GROUP PUBLIC COMPANY LIMITED -2.31% 2.54 End-of-day quote.-37.75%
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