Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 May, 2009 – Some 3000 workers at a platinum mine owned jointly by African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) have boycotted work as a form of protest over the death of a colleague.
ARM revealed on its website that work had stopped at the Modikwa mine, north of here. The mine produced 294 721 platinum group metal ounces in the 2008 fiscal year.
Mining companies have suffered production losses after fatalities due to routine shutdowns ordered by the government for investigations, and work stoppages by union members who have vowed to stop work for a day to mark the death of colleagues.
However, Monique Swartz, head of investor relations at ARM, which jointly manages Modikwa with Angloplat – the world’s top producer of the metal – revealed that the worker had collapsed and died in the changing rooms at the mine after completing his shift, and the company was treating the death as a non-mining related fatality.
“We are not treating this as a mine-related accident or fatality. He died of natural causes and we are conducting an autopsy to verify the actual cause,” Swartz said.
“Labour has declared a day of mourning on the mine despite this not being a mine accident,” she said.
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the workers’ stay-away would last for one day.