Four contractor employees died and another was seriously injured when a newly constructed surface waste rock conveyor collapsed, at the Sibanye-Stillwater Burnstone project last week.
Sibanye-Stillwater, a multinational mining and metals processing group, reported the tragic incident that occurred on Thursday, 13 April 2023, at its Burnstone project near the town of Balfour in South Africa.
According to the statement issued by the company, a newly constructed surface waste rock conveyor collapsed while five contractor employees were installing a head pulley of the conveyor infrastructure.
The incident resulted in the loss of lives, and Sibanye-Stillwater expressed its deepest condolences to the families and colleagues of the affected contractors. The company promised to provide all necessary assistance and support during this difficult time.
“Tragically four persons were fatally injured, while a fifth person sustained serious injuries and is currently receiving treatment,” the company added. “The board and management of Sibanye-Stillwater extends their sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased.” the company said on Thursday.
The incident is currently under investigation, and Sibanye-Stillwater has assured all relevant stakeholders that they will be informed of the findings once the investigation is complete.
The miner has had a challenging track record in recent years with 18 employees out of the country’s 55 deaths losing their lives at its mines in 2021.
Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, at the time said the incidence of fatalities, in particular, was “of grave concern. We are appalled by the loss of our employees’ lives at our mines over the past year,” he added.
“While we cannot rectify the harm that has occurred, we will continue to support the families as best we can in their grief,” he said.
Sibanye-Stillwater is one of the world’s largest primary producers of platinum, palladium, and rhodium, and it is also a top-tier gold producer. The company’s operations extend across South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the United States. Sibanye-Stillwater produces and refines iridium and ruthenium, nickel, chrome, copper, and co