Pretoria, South Africa — 20 March 2012 – Fatalities are falling in South Africa’s mines as the industry is subjected to a surge of inspections, but mines minister Susan Shabangu says she would not relent despite industry complaints about stoppages
Shabangu told a news briefing here that from January 1 to March 12 of this year, 22 miners had been killed in South Africa’s mines compared to 27 in the same period of 2011. The number of injuries fell sharply over the same period “’ by 40% to 403 from 667.
“While there is improvement in the statistics, I’m of the opinion that there is room for improvement as the fatalities in the mining industry are still unacceptable,” she said. ‘The department will continue with the stance of stopping unsafe working areas.”
Citing Reuters, Fin24 reports that the Department of Mineral Resources has launched a safety drive to cut fatalities in the country’s mines, which are the world’s deepest and among the most dangerous.
The industry has complained about the blanket nature of the safety stoppages ordered by the department, which has seen entire mines shut down for infractions in one shaft or operation.
The safety-related stoppages cost the platinum sector 300 000 ounces in lost output last year.
Source: Reuters, through Fin24. For further details click here.