Impala Platinum Mine will suspend its Marula operations in Limpopo as a health and safety measure after a cluster of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.
With mines allowed to run at 50% capacity during level 4 of the lockdown – concerns over the health of miners have been brought to the forefront with many having pre-existing conditions due to the harsh mining environment.
The mining giant said at least 19 workers have contracted the virus, with 17 of the confirmed cases locally transmitted, after the Health Department in the province initially reported 13 cases.
This suggests the prevalence of COVID-19 among local communities to be far higher than the company’s initial estimates.
Operations have now shut down temporarily until further notice.
The mine’s Johan Theron said it will not recall workers due to report for duty next week at in order to complete all relevant health and safety protocols, including verifying test results, sanitising high-risk areas and conducting further contact tracing.
Theron said individuals tested showed no apparent coronavirus symptoms and that the mine has now isolated affected employees to prevent further infections at the mine.