SMM5, March 18 -: Impala Platinum said on Saturday that it would temporarily close the Marula platinum mine after 19 coronavirus cases were found among workers on duty at the Limpopo plant. The company says the Marula platinum mine will not reopen until appropriate health measures are in place.
Impala Platinum confirmed this week that 19 people tested positive for the new crown virus. Among them, 14 cases were detected before the workers returned to work. None of these workers have started working in the mine yet. Impala said that 17 cases were living in nearby communities, and the other two had been to other provinces, which was worrying because the outbreak in the local community was more serious than the company had previously estimated.
South Africa is the world's largest platinum producer and its main mining industry is gradually resuming operations. The South African authorities had relaxed restrictions allowing mines to operate at 50 per cent capacity, but unions won lawsuits to force the government to impose stricter safety standards.
As of Sunday, South Africa had reported more than 14355 cases of infectious respiratory diseases, one of the highest on the continent, causing 261 deaths.
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