Impala Platinum to resume production after fatal accident

Impala Platinum will resume production at its Rustenburg operations on Thursday after the company suspended activity earlier in the week following an accident that killed 12 employees.

The deep-level shaft in which a cage hoisting miners to the surface suddenly plunged on 27 November will remain closed “while internal investigations and inquiries” are completed, the Johannesburg-listed miner, known as Implats, said in a statement Thursday.

Production at the rest of the nine shafts will restart on 30 November after a period for mourning and checking the other elevators at the complex, it said.

Implats’ Rustenburg operations – which take place at an average depth of 870 meters (2,853 feet) underground – account for more than a third of the company’s output of platinum group metals.

The firm recently acquired control of Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd. in order to extend the life of its adjacent Rustenburg mines, from which Implats has been producing metal for more than five decades.

An employee at Rustenburg, who had been hospitalized along with 74 colleagues after the accident, died on Wednesday, bringing the total fatalities caused by the incident to 12, Implats said.