Minerals Council expresses “deep concern” over mine deaths this year

THE Minerals Council South Africa said it noted “with deep concern” the increase in the number of fatalities among the country’s mineworkers in the last 18 months.

“All efforts will continue to reverse this trend and to reinforce our aspiration to achieve the goal of zero harm,” it said in a statement primarily issued to extend condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of six miners who died in an underground fire at Palabora Mining Company on July 15.

The accident means that at least 54 mineworkers lost their lives this year whilst at work this year and puts South Africa on course for a potential increase year-on-year in the number of mining fatalities – the second consecutive year of increases after several years of decreasing numbers of fatalities.

Cyril Ramaphosa, South African president, said the country would “tighten up” safety regulations in order to hold mine management personally accountable for mineworker fatalities, said Reuters in an article republished by BusinessLive. “We are going to tighten up the regulations to ensure that those who run these mines must be accountable themselves because we cannot have so many deaths,” he said.

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