A fire at an underground copper mine operated by Palabora Mining Company in South Africa killed five miners, the company said in a statement.
Reuters reported that the incident occurred in the early hours of July 15 at one of its underground conveyer belts, and that mine management, government officials and organized labor were on the scene investigating.
Safety is a huge issue in South Africa’s deep and dangerous mines and increasingly a focus for investors. A spate of deaths at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold operations, including a seismic event that killed seven miners in early May, has highlighted the risks they face.
South Africa is not a major copper producer and most fatal accidents occur in its deep-level gold and platinum mines.