Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu mine.

Johannesburg - Harmony Gold says a worker has died after being involved in a rail-bound accident at its Kusasalethu mine near Carletonville on Monday morning.

The listed miner says in a statement to shareholders that investigations into the accident are underway and all tramming operations on the level where the accident occurred have been stopped.

“Harmony’s management team wish to express their deepest condolences to the members of the deceased's family.”

So far this year, around ten mineworkers have already been killed in accidents.

For 2014, the total number of fatalities for those working in local mines was 84, the lowest ever recorded in the country’s mining history. This continued a trend that began in 2013, as mine deaths had previously been over a hundred a year.

Of the 84 deaths, 44 occurred in gold mines, 15 in platinum mines, nine in coal mines, and 16 in other mines such as diamond, chrome, copper, and iron ore mines.

A total of 93 miners died in 2013; 37 at gold mines, 27 at platinum mines, seven at coal mines and 22 on other mines.

Harmony’s Kusasalethu mine is located on the border of the Gauteng and North West provinces. It comprises twin vertical and twin sub-vertical shaft systems. Mining uses conventional methods in a sequential grid layout.

In the 2014 financial year, Kusasalethu ranked among the most-improved of Harmony’s South African operations as the mine’s continued production build-up resulted in it becoming the largest individual gold producer in the group. Gold production was up 71% on the year, a function of an increase in volumes milled and higher grades.

The mine was closed for about three months in 2013 due to a strike and the mine also saw three fatalities, one of which followed the failure of a backfill paddock and bag in the third quarter.

The mine is expected to be completely ramped up at the end of the 2019 calendar year.

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