Announcements 2002

Northam Platinum, the world's deepest platinum mine, has notched up another safety record by achieving an award for having worked 2 million fatality-free shifts.

This magnificent achievement comes after Northam reached millionaire status in April this year, and also in October 2001. Managing Director Ian Watson says that South Africa's deep-level mines had long been perceived as unduly hazardous places to work. "We all have a responsibility to change this perception - and the only way we can do this is by producing the evidence. All the people of Northam have shown us what can be done when safety becomes a top priority."

Apart from the requisite attitudinal changes to effect a safer working environment, Watson said that continuing advances in technology had also played an important role in reducing accidents. He acknowledged the successful implementation of the remotely-operated drill rigs used in development ends, and the relentless application of new in-stope support standards at Northam. "With further mechanisation and even better cooperation between employees, their representative bodies and management, I am sure we can continue to improve on these achievements," he said.

On presenting the award to Northam on behalf of the Department of Mineral and Energy, Mr Tim Kruger remarked that achievements like this are not a matter of luck, but the result of hard work and a sustained focus on safety.