Impala Mine to remain closed after cage with miners plunges

Muller said all indications were its safety systems were working and had been tested prior to the incident.

Mining operations at Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg, North West, have been halted amid an investigation into the death of 11 miners on Monday evening.

A cage the miners were travelling in was plunged back 200m underground after a cable malfunctioned, affecting over 86 miners.

ALSO READ: Death of miners ‘darkest day in history of Implats’ − CEO

The incident took place at around 6pm on Monday and by the morning all miners were brought to the surface, with at least 11 dead and 10 rushed to hospital in critical condition. One miner was airlifted to Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital for urgent treatment, while the others were taken to health facilities in the region.

CEO Nico Muller said the mine took full responsibility for the accident and had halted all operations while they investigated the cause.

“We take health and safety very seriously. We do not believe in producing a single ounce if it cannot be produced safely”.

Muller said all indications were its safety systems were working and had been tested prior to the incident.

A full investigation into the incident is expected to take at least three months.

ALSO READ: At least 11 dead at Impala Mine after cage with miners plunges

NUM Rustenburg’s Geoffrey Moatshe told eNCA, he believed negligence was to blame for the tragedy.

“This could have been avoided. There is no human error, it is pure negligence. This thing is expected to carry workers on a daily basis to and from underground. If these things are not properly serviced, people are obsessed with production they are not going to address the issues of safety in mines.

Muller had earlier described the incident as “the darkest day in the history of Implats”.

“Our hearts are heavy for the lives lost and the individuals affected by this devasting accident. We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our colleagues and are in the process of ensuring all next of kin have been contacted”.
This is a developing story

Read more on these topics

Accidents Editor’s Choice Health implats mine

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits