Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

13 trapped underground at South African gold mine

13 trapped underground at South African gold mine

Mine operator Sibanye-Stillwater said on Friday that 10 of 13 miners trapped underground at its South African gold mine were rescued but four of the 10 have died from their injuries.

However, mine rescue teams - which the company said had been immediately mobilised - were in contact with three employees, presumably still trapped.

He said 10 of 13 miners who were trapped have been freed and six are at hospital. Sibanye's borrowings swelled after a series of deals that transformed it from a staid and steady gold producer into a diversified precious-metals miner with both southern African and US assets. Driefontein produced 482,000 ounces of gold in 2017, accounting for about a third of Sibanye's output of the metal.

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Mine accidents are common in South Africa. While safety has improved since the end of whites-only rule in 1994, fatalities in the sector increased past year for the first time in a decade.

His spokesperson Ayanda Shezi says: "The minister is urging the companies to priorities the issues of health and safety for mine workers, instead of focusing on production at the expense of the mineworkers' safety". "At our South African PGM operations two employees were fatally injured in two separate incidents", it said.

In February, almost 1,000 miners were trapped underground for 30 hours following a power cut caused by a storm in another mine owned by Sibanye-Stillwater.

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