JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Impala Platinum shut a shaft at its big Rustenburg mine after a worker died on Friday from injuries sustained in an underground rock fall the previous day, South Africa's Solidarity union said Monday.
The union said the death had brought the total number of workers killed in South African mines so far this year to 155.
"All activities in the specific section where the accident took place have been halted until further notice," the union said in a statement.
Implats spokesman Bob Gilmore said the shaft was under development and no production was taking place in it.
The worker killed in the incident worked for Murray & Roberts, which is a contractor at the mine.
Solidarity said a compliance order was served on Murray & Roberts in August, after representatives from the union had pointed out extremely unsafe conditions at the mine.
However, the company had not complied with a condition to inform the union of any incidents at the mine in order for Solidarity to investigate.
"We find it very concerning that Murray & Roberts failed to report this incident, as agreed only three months ago," Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said in the statement.
"The safety crisis at South African mines will only improve if all the role players put all their cards on the table and start working together."
South Africa's parliament last month passed new mine safety laws which enforce stricter penalties and hold mine CEOs criminally liable for deaths. But mining firms have criticised the laws as being punitive, unconstitutional and possibly leading to brain drain as managers flee.
Some 221 workers were killed in South Africa's mines last year, up from up from 200 in 2006.