South Africa's Impala Platinum, the world's No. 2 platinum producer, reopened a large shaft at a big platinum mine that was closed for three days after a worker died in an incident, it said on Monday.

The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) reversed the order that had forced Impala Platinum (Implats) to close the shaft following a meeting on Monday, a spokeswoman said.

The worker was killed last Thursday after an air pipe fell on him.

The shaft was closed for three days, losing about 300 (PGM) ounces a day, Alice Lourens, a spokeswoman for Implats told Reuters. The loss was not material to the company's overall production, she added.

South Africa has suffered many mine fatalities, and the DME has resorted to shutting mines or shafts whenever such deaths take place, in a bid to address safety.

The National Union of Mineworkers has also vowed to stay away from mines for a day of mourning when deaths occur. Both the DME and NUM actions have led to declines in output, which have forced mining companies to enhance safety.

Some 170 mineworkers died in 2008 in various mine incidents in South Africa, which was a decline of 23 percent compared to 221 deaths in the previous year.

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