Impala Platinum said three of five workers who went missing on Sunday after a mud rush at one of its mines in Rustenburg have died.
Two workers who were rescued are in a “serious but stable condition” in hospital, the Johannesburg-based platinum-group metals miner said in a statement Tuesday. Mining operations at No. 6 shaft remain suspended, the company said. The deaths raise the number of fatalities at Impala’s Rustenburg operations in recent days to four, after another incident at its number 16 shaft on Saturday killed a contract employee.
South Africa’s mines ministry said November 25 that 58 workers died in industry accidents so far this year due to a deterioration in safety. The rising fatalities indicate that miners’ safety is worsening for a second year, after 60 deaths in 2020, according to Minerals Council South Africa, an industry lobby group. The sector had its lowest number of annual fatalities on record at 51 workers in 2019, according to the council.