All 86 mineworkers involved in fatal accident accounted for: Impala

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Impala Platinum Holdings says all the 86 employees, who were involved in a mine accident at their operations in Rustenburg, North West on Monday have been accounted for.

Eleven of them died, while 75 others sustained injuries.  The latter have been transferred to hospitals around area.

The mining company CEO Nico Muller says the rescue operation is complete and operations will be suspended at its 11 shaft in Rustenburg.

Muller says they are in the process of informing and liaising with the affected families.

The mine reports that investigations into the cause of the accident have commenced.

Impala Platinum earlier said indications are that a winder rope at the company’s 11 shaft snapped.

This rope is connected to a personnel conveyer, which hoists employees up and down the shaft.

Interview with Company Spokesperson, Johan Theron:

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) says it is yet to get a clear briefing about what transpired at the mine.

AMCU will meet with mine management and the Department of Mineral Resources on Tuesday.

Health and safety

Bench Marks Foundation’s Lead Researcher, David van Wyk says mineworkers at Impala Platinum have been complaining about the health and safety conditions at the mine.

Van Wyk says workers have raised concerns about the state of the winch ropes and the maintenance there off.

He says fatal mine injuries increase close to the festive season.

“There is always been an increase of accidents over the festive seasons and also over public holidays. Reason for that is that the permanent staff are on leave during this period and then caretaker staff take over in the operation of these months, because annual December holidays are coming up. The other reasons of course is that over the last two, three months – 36 000 workers have been retrenched in various mining companies.”

Van Wyk added that the mine should be closed immediately until the environment has been made safe.

-Additional reporting by Tsholofelo Mogami.