On 28 November 2023, Impala Platinum reported a tragic incident involving a personnel conveyance in a shaft at Impala Rustenburg’s 11 Shaft, in which 11 people lost their lives and 75 employees were hospitalised. The mining industry mourns with the family, friends and colleagues of those who died and those who were injured.

Jacques McCarthy - supplied by 11# (15) Implats Rustenburg

Jacques McCarthy – supplied by 11# (15) Implats Rustenburg

Implats CEO, Nico Muller, said “This is the darkest day in the history of Implats and 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. Implats is offering ongoing support to the families and colleagues of those lost in service. We also hold our injured colleagues in our thoughts at this incredibly difficult time.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to the local medical services from the Bojanala District and the Impala Medical Services team who worked tirelessly during this crisis to provide the necessary emergency paramedic services, secure additional ICU beds and ambulances, mobilise additional general surgeons and secure the support of three private hospitals to assist our Impala Hospital in caring for the critically injured.

“We are also extremely grateful to all the proto and rescue teams for their tireless and courageous efforts, working under very difficult circumstances, to rescue our 11 Shaft team members. We value the efforts of all stakeholders coming together in this extremely difficult time, particularly the emergency responders.”

The Minerals Council’s member companies came to Impala Platinum’s immediate assistance with more than 15 Proto Teams (specialist rescue teams) deployed to 11 Shaft. All the available ambulances from other mining operations were sent to the mine to transport the injured employees to nearby hospitals, with paramedics deployed to give medical assistance, says Japie Fullard, chair of the Minerals Council’s CEO Zero Harm Forum.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to all the families, friends and colleagues affected in this accident.  We are in constant contact with Impala Platinum’s leadership and its safety teams to offer all the assistance we can,” says Fullard.

African Mining, incorporating Mining Mirror and Mining and Technical Exhibitions hereby express our deep condolences to the families and the mine.