Exxaro Resources has reported a fatality at its Matla mine 2 shaft in Mpumalanga, after achieving 32 fatality free months at the operation.

Exxaro Resources employee, Sibongiseni Sihle Majozi, was fatally injured in a conveyor belt related incident at Matla mine 2 shaft on 1 March 2017.

Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo, extended his sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Mr Majozi.

He noted that safety remains a top priority at Exxaro and said that “we will continue to strive to achieve zero harm at our operations.”

The Department of Mineral Resources and Matla mine management are currently conducting an in-loco inspection and a full investigation will start in due course.

In March last year, the coal mining sector in South Africa was applauded by Chamber of Mines president Mike Teke for its continued improvement in safety performance. Teke had made the announcement in Secunda on behalf of the Chamber of Mines at the CoalSafe 2016 conference, hosted by the South African Colliery Managers’ Association (SACMA).

In 2015, Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane congratulated 16 companies for operating without any fatalities for a period of more than 12 months.

Five of the 16 companies that recorded no fatalities during 2015 were coal mining companies and included Exxaro Resources, Sasol, Total Coal South Africa, Kuyasa Mining and Coal of Africa.

In 2016, the coal sector was once again the commodity sector with the least amount of recorded fatalities and injuries accounting for four and 183, respectively.