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The ICMM report examines incidents by country and has found that 25 fatalities occurred in South Africa, four in Peru and three in Chile and the USA during 2017. The fatality frequency rate in Africa was 0.040 per million hours worked, 0.031 in Europe, 0.019 in the Americas and 0.013 in Oceania.

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is committed to strengthening the health and safety performance of its members and reducing operational fatalities to zero.

As part of this commitment it produces an annual safety data report of its membership.

The report, which collates the safety data of around 950,000 workers and contractors, recorded 51 fatalities in 2017.

This was a decrease from 63 fatalities in 2016.

Eight of the 23 ICMM members reported no fatalities in 2017, these were Antofagasta, Goldcorp, JX Nippon, Mitsubishi Materials, Newmont, Polyus, South32 and Teck.

The number of hours worked across members of the ICMM dropped by 4%, but taking this into account, fatalities reduced by 15%.

There were two incidents which resulted in more than one fatality, a decrease from five incidents in 2016.

The data also shows an 11% decrease in the number of total recordable injuries from 8,445 in 2016 to 7,515 in 2017.

“While eight of our members had no fatalities and there were twelve fewer deaths in 2017, tragically 51 miners lost their lives,” says ICMM CEO, Tom Butler.

“We shouldn’t underestimate the hard work that has been done to reduce fatalities, however this is still too many and we are determined to achieve our goal of eliminating fatalities in our members’ operations.”

The report findings include:

  • Twelve fewer fatalities recorded in 2017 compared to 2016
  • Eight member companies recorded no fatalities in 2017, an increase from six in 2016
  • 17 fatalities (33%) were caused by fall of ground in underground mines – the number of fatalities fell from 31 in 2016
  • 11 fatalities (22%) were due to transportation/mobile equipment, a reduction from the 15 recorded in 2016
  • In 2017, there were 931 fewer recordable injuries than in 2016 and 2,979 fewer than in 2015
  • In the six years of safety data published by ICMM, fatalities have dropped from 90 in 2012 to 51 in 2017 and in this time, the fatality frequency rate has dropped by 18%
  • Since 2012, total recordable injuries have dropped from 13,895 to 7,515 and the total recordable injury frequency rate has dropped by 22%.

The full 2017 safety data report with supporting graphs and tables is available here.