RUSTENBURG HERALD - RUSTENBURG - On Monday, 27 November 2023, 86 employees were involved in an accident associated with the personnel conveyance at Impala Rustenburg’s 11 Shaft.
Tragically and subsequent to this devastating accident, 13 employees lost their lives. In addition, 73 employees were injured, several of whom are receiving ongoing rehabilitation, care and support from the Company. The in loco inspection was conducted and associated instructions from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (“DMRE”) were received during December 2023, with the 11 Shaft site returned to Implats to proceed with further investigations, as well as to begin the necessary repairs to the damaged infrastructure at the site — under the direction of the DMRE.
In January 2024, Implats’ subsidiary, Impala Platinum Limited, submitted its Investigation Report to the DMRE, in terms of section 11(5)(e) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, which now paves the way for the DMRE to initiate formal proceedings relating to the accident, possibly during the course of the year.
The formal proceedings are expected to take several months to complete. In parallel, Implats will conduct its own investigations, which will draw on observations and findings from the regulated investigation, but also explore potential interventions, to further enhance the safe operation of all conveyance systems across the Group. The investigations are regulated by internal, industry and regulatory protocols and procedures. Once concluded, the relevant learnings from these investigations will be shared with the regulator and industry stakeholders. Permission to use the rock winder at 11 Shaft was granted by the DMRE on Tuesday, 9 January 2024, with personnel access to underground workings authorised through the adjacent 11C Shaft infrastructure.
This will allow a ramp-up in mined volumes to circa 60% of production capacity over the coming weeks.
Consequently, 11 Shaft mining crews were systematically re-mobilised during January 2024, with surplus labour deployed across the broader Rustenburg asset base. Infrastructure repairs at 11 Shaft are expected to be completed by the end of February 2024, with a build-up to full production capacity currently targeted for April 2024. All mining operations at Impala Rustenburg were halted during the week of the accident and again for the evening shift on Tuesday, 5 December 2023, as well as morning shift on Wednesday, 6 December
for purposes of attending the memorial service for our colleagues who have passed away. In the period under review, the production loss associated with the 11 Shaft accident is estimated at 30 000 6E ounces. Current estimates indicate a further 30 000 6E ounce shortfall from the 11 Shaft complex in H2 FY2024.