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ICMM releases 2018 mining safety data

16 May 2019

London, UK – Today, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) released the 2018 safety data of its company members. 

ICMM and its members are committed to strengthening health and safety performance and reducing operational fatalities to zero. As part of this commitment, ICMM publishes an annual safety data report of our company members. The full report, Benchmarking 2018 Safety Data: Progress of ICMM members, is available here.

This benchmarking report provides the safety data from ICMM companies for 2018 and does not include fatalities from the Brumadinho tragedy that occurred in January 2019.

The 2018 safety data report, which collates the safety data of around a million workers and contractors, recorded 50 fatalities in 2018. This was a decrease from 51 fatalities in 2017 and 63 fatalities in 2016.

Eleven of ICMM’s 27 company members reported no fatalities in 2018 compared to eight in 2017. These were: Africa Rainbow Minerals, Barrick, Freeport McMoRan, Goldcorp, JX Nippon, Minera San Cristóbal, Minsur, Mitsubishi Materials, Newcrest, Orano, and Sumitomo.

The number of hours worked across ICMM’s members increased by 16 per cent due to data being included from new company members, Minera San Cristóbal, Minsur, Newcrest and Vale. While total fatalities dropped by 2 per cent, the fatality frequency rate dropped 19 per cent from 0.027 to 0.022 fatalities per million hours worked.

There was also a drop in the injury rate from 3.94 in 2017 to 3.41 despite an increase in the number of recordable injuries from 7,515 to 7,751.

Tom Butler, ICMM’s CEO said: “Our annual safety data tragically records that 50 people lost their lives at work in 2018. ICMM and our company members are determined to eliminate fatalities from their operations. The single highest cause of deaths in 2018 was from mobile mining equipment which is why we are exploring collision avoidance technology in our Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles programme.”

 The report findings include:

  • One fewer fatality recorded in 2018 compared to 2017
  • Eleven member companies recorded no fatalities in 2017, an increase from eight in 2017
  • Fifteen fatalities (30 per cent) were caused by transportation/mobile equipment, 4 higher than the 11 fatalities recorded in 2017
  • Nine fatalities (18 per cent) were caused by fall of ground in underground mines, 8 fewer than the 17 in 2017
  • In the 6 years of safety data published by ICMM, fatalities have dropped from 90 in 2012 to 50 in 2018 and in this time, the fatality frequency rate has dropped by 33 per cent to 0.022 deaths per million hours worked.
  • Total recordable injuries increased from 7,715 to 7,751 although the frequency rate reduced from 3.94 to 3.41 recordable injuries per million hours worked.
  • Since 2012, total recordable injuries have dropped from 13,895 to 7,751 and the total recordable injury frequency rate has dropped by 33 per cent.

The report also examines incidents by country. The highest number of fatalities (14) occurred in South Africa, where 400 million hours were worked. There were six fatalities in Chile and Ghana where respectively 281 million and 51 million hours were worked.

The highest fatality frequency rates were recorded in Hungary, Spain and Laos which each recorded a single fatality.


Notes for editors

  1. Monitoring and reporting on occupational health and safety indicators is an important part of driving performance improvement. ICMM produces an annual mining safety report covering the fatality and injury data of its members. The aim of this is to encourage information and knowledge-sharing among members and catalyse learning across the industry. More information on ICMM's benchmarking of safety data can be accessed here: 201720162015.
  2. New Members - Newcrest and Vale joined ICMM in 2017 and Minera San Cristóbal and Minsur joined in 2018 and so did not submit safety data for the 2017 report. Newmont Mining and Goldcorp are reported as separate companies in the 2018 safety data report as their merger happened in 2019. This is also reflected in references to ICMM having 27 company members in 2018.

About ICMM

ICMM is an international organisation dedicated to a safe, fair and sustainable mining and metals industry which brings together 26 mining and metals companies and 35 regional and commodities associations. Every ICMM member company adheres to 10 Principles and 8 Position Statements on issues relating to sustainable development.

Media contact

Mike Eames
+44 7881 316724