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South African Mine Deaths This Year Rise to 22, Department Says

Photographer: Naashon Zalk/Bloomberg

The number of people killed at South African mines has reached 22 this year, as operators struggle to improve on their safety record in 2017, when deaths increased for the first time in a decade.

South Africa operates some of the world’s deepest and most dangerous mines. The country has been mined commercially for over a century and many operators still rely on older, labor-intensive mining methods such as hand drilling.

Mining deaths increased to 88 last year, compared with 73 in 2016, the Department of Mineral Resources said in an emailed statement.

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