JSE- and NYSE-listed Sibanye-Stillwater has confirmed that four employees had been killed in two separate incidents on December 3.
At about 02:30, a colleague at the Khuseleka shaft, at the Rustenburg operations, passed away in a fall-of-ground incident which occurred while he was barring down the sidewall of a development end.
Then, at about 10:00, three employees at 3 Shaft at the Beatrix operations passed away following a trackless mobile machinery incident.
The board and management of Sibanye have extended their sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased.
Despite improvements in all other safety metrics, Sibanye has experienced a notable regression in fatalities this year, with 18 employees having lost their lives.
The incident at Beatrix, in particular, followed an incident earlier this week, where another colleague lost his life in a blasting incident.
"Any loss of life is unacceptable and all efforts are being focussed on addressing this perplexing increase in fatal safety incidents," Sibanye said in a December 3 release.
CEO Neal Froneman added that the number of fatal incidents Sibanye has experienced was "of grave concern" for management and the Sibanye board.
"We are appalled by the loss of our employees’ lives at our mines over the past year. While we cannot rectify the harm that has occurred, we will continue to support the families as best we can in their grief.
"The safety of employees is our primary concern and we will continue to strive for zero harm in the workplace,” he said.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on December 3 called for Froneman to resign and for the Sibanye board to be disbanded in light of the high number of fatalities at its mines this year.
The union previously made submissions for amendments to the Mine Health and Safety Act to hold mining bosses accountable, and it continuously repeats this clarion call.
AMCU also recently called on the DMRE to lead an inquest into the rising number of fatalities across South Africa’s mining industry this year.
The total number of fatalities for this year is about 70, surpassing the 60 fatalities recorded in 2020 and the 51 fatalities in 2019.
Sibanye is expected to release a statement about the safety incidents at its operations later on Friday.