Impala Platinum Holdings, the world’s second-biggest producer of the metal, halted output at its main operation in South Africa after a second fatality since reopening the mine following a five-month strike.

The worker was killed underground at the Lease operation in Rustenburg on September 5, after another employee died last month, Franz Stehring, head of mining at labour union Uasa, said on Monday, reports Bloomberg.

Safety audits

The platinum producer suspended night shifts and won’t be allowed to resume production until two days of safety audits are completed, he said.

“We’ll have to go through the entire mine,” Stehring said, before the company briefs the Department of Mineral Resources on the measures taken to allow output to restart.

CEO to meet with workers

Impala Chief Executive Officer Terence Goodlace is set to talk to workers about safety issues at a mass meeting today, said Stehring.

Impala said earlier this month that it may burn through R2.8 billion returning the Lease operation to full production by November after the strike over pay by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) ended on 24 June.

The mine accounted for 88% of the Johannesburg-based company’s operating income in 2013.

Increasing annual output

Impala is planning to increase annual output from its Rustenburg mine, to 850 000 oz from about 700 000 oz. Production at the mine – the largest in South Africa – came to a near standstill during the protracted wage strike this year.

Impala said the stoppage cost it 312 000 oz in lost output and stalled projects as cash had to be preserved.

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