On Monday, a mineworker at Anglo American’s Goedehoop coal mine died after being hit by a vehicle, trade union Solidarity said.
The worker died in hospital Monday afternoon after an accident earlier in the day at the mine, located about 40 kilometers south of Witbank.
Operations were stopped and mine management and the Department of Minerals and Energy are conducting an investigation into the cause of the incident.
Production at the mine had been disrupted to some extent, but would resume as normal on Wednesday. It is unclear and difficult to quantify how much output is likely to be lost.
Quoting statistics supplied by the DME, Solidarity spokesman Jaco Kleynhans said “Based on the number of deaths at coal mines every year, it is, after gold and platinum mines, the third most dangerous mining sector in South Africa,”
The DME has been routinely closing down mines on a temporary basis after a fatality, to put pressure on mining companies to improve safety.
The recent Presidential Mine Safety Audit Report showed that mines in South Africa, the world’s top source of platinum and a major producer of gold, have a “disappointing” level of safety compliance. The audit covered 355 mines nationwide and revealed that mine safety compliance was at 66 percent.