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Government will allow flexibility in improving safety

Aquarius Platinum’s
flagship Kroondal
Melbourne, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 20 July 2010 – Aquarius Platinum has been reassured that it will have some flexibility on how to improve safety at its mines, following a meeting with South African regulators it said today, a day after its shares had been hammered in Australia and London.

The South African government last week issued a directive restricting how much ore can be extracted by some mechanised mining techniques, after an accident had killed five miners at an Aquarius mine.

Aquarius said here that its shares had slumped 25% in Australia and 11% in London yesterday on worries about the impact of the order.

The South African Department of Mineral Resources told companies at a meeting yesterday that they would be allowed to consult with the department to set out best mining practices mine by mine, and that they were not subject to a blanket, unilateral rule, according to Aquarius.

“It is clear that all parties have safety as their priority, and are looking for a pragmatic solution to achieve that objective,” Aquarius chief executive Stuart Murray said in a statement.

Aquarius said it was working with an international mining consultant to review mine design for each of its mines individually.