Kloof gold mine. (Image courtesy of Sibanye-Stillwater.)

Shares in Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) (JSE: SSW) were down 4.6% during pre-market trading in New York on Friday after reporting four deaths at its Burnstone gold project in South Africa following the collapse of a conveyor.

The precious metals miner said the accident took place on Thursday when five contractors were installing a head pulley on the a newly constructed surface waste rock conveyor. This infrastructure collapsed, killing four of the five workers and seriously injuring the other.

The National Union of Mineworkers called for an inquiry into the company’s practices at the mine it is developing at Burnstone, 75 kms (46.6 miles) east of Johannesburg in Mpumalanga province.

Sibanye-Stillwater said a full investigation was already underway.

The number of mine fatalities in South Africa fell last year to a record low of 49, down from 74 the year before. Serious injuries totalled 1,946 in 2022, down from 2,123 a year earlier, according to official figures.

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