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An "unparalleled" deterioration in safety standards at Sibanye-Stillwater, resulting in the deaths of 20 employees in nine incidents since February, has prompted the gold and platinum miner to appoint a safety expert, academic Kobus de Jager, as it investigates what went wrong at its Driefontein and Kloof gold mines, and how to address its safety approach. Last week, five mine workers were killed after entering an unmined area in the Ikamva shaft at Kloof near Westonaria, while 12 miners died in what Sibanye says were two "unrelated" fatalities earlier in 2018.

Work at Kloof, which has five producing shafts of which the deepest operates at below 3.3km underground, has been shuttered until a safety audit there is complete, and the company will hold a safety day on Thursday following Wednesday’s memorial. The five mine workers died after entering an area that was not ventilated. The seismic event at its Driefontein mine on May 3, located in the West Wits Line near Carletonville,...

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