South Africa will continue to order the closure of mines in an effort to further reduce fatalities.

So far this year, 45 miners have died in mining accidents – a reduction on the 57 fatalities recorded in the same period for 2009.

The major causes of deaths in South African mines are rockfalls, transportation and machinery accidents, and new closure rules dealing with policing safety in these areas have been behind the recent drop in deaths, according to the government.

South African Mining Minister Susan Shabangu told Reuters that if dealing with pressing occupational safety challenges, sections of a mine or even the entire mine if necessary would be given a notice of closure.

The mining companies under scrutiny for having the most number of fatalities this year are AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold Mines, Simmers and Jack, Anglo Platinum and Goldfields.