Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 August 2009 – Impala Platinum “’ the world’s second largest platinum producer “’ has announced that it has re-started production this week at three shafts which had been shut down at its Rustenburg mine in South Africa .
Nine mineworkers were killed in an accident on 21 July, and the government ordered the temporary closure of three mechanised sections at the mine affecting sections of No. 12 shaft, 14 shaft and two development areas.
“The order to shut down the mines was lifted mid last week and we resumed production on Monday,” Implats spokeswoman Alice Lourens revealed.
“We have yet to estimate how much production was lost, but our guidance at the time of the closure was that we would lose about 700 ounces a day,” she added. “We are still assessing the loss.”
Mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu, who visited the site after the incident, said her department would launch a thorough investigation of the mine to see whether Implats had complied with proper safety precautions. The report is yet to be released to the public.
Meanwhile, Harmony Gold Mining Company expects to lose about three days of production, or about 60 kilograms, following the suspension of operations by the government after a recent fatal accident, spokeswoman Marian van der Walt told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Reuters reports that South Africa, which has the world’s deepest mines, has one of the highest rates of work-related mining deaths in the industrialised world. Last year 168 workers died in mines, down 24% from the previous year.