Four dead at Sibanye gold mine in South Africa after cave

04 May, 2018, 13:53 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Eight still trapped underground at Sibanye mine following seismic event

Four workers at Sibanye-Stillwater's Masakhane mine in Driefontein, who were among 13 employees trapped following seismic events on Thursday have died, the company said on Friday.

"Sibanye-Stillwater wishes to report that five of the 13 employees who were trapped following a seismic event at its Masakhane mine‚ Driefontein operations‚ have been freed by the mine rescue teams‚" Sibanye said in a statement issued late on Thursday.

Thirteen miners were initially trapped about 3km below the surface but rescuers managed to get several out, company spokesperson James Wellsted told AFP.

The minerals department said the gold sector had seen an increase in fatalities this year, with Sibanye-Stillwater as one of the main contributors.

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Sibanye-Stillwater produces more gold in South Africa than any other company.

South African gold mines are among the world's deepest and oldest, with workers going further and further underground to access new ore in a country that's been mined commercially for over a century. The six rescued miners have been hospitalised. "At our South African PGM operations two employees were fatally injured in two separate incidents", it said.

The National Union of Mineworkers said in an announcement later in the evening that eight miners were still missing.

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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