Dual-listed Sibanye Gold reported that it has experienced two safety related incidents at its Cooke Operation, west of Johannesburg, which resulted in one fatality and two trapped miners.

Sibanye Gold's Cooke 3 processing plant
Sibanye Gold’s Cooke 3 processing plant

The first incident, which occurred on Monday, affected two contractors at Cooke 1 Shaft, who were engaged in illegal mining activities at the end of their shift.

Rescue efforts to reach the trapped miners are underway.

In a separate incident, a miner was fatally injured in a materials handling accident involving a pinch bar at Cooke 3 Shaft on Tuesday.

“Our priority is the safety of both the employees and the rescue teams. We have advised the Department of Mineral Resources and are working together to bring both these employees out. We are also in contact with their families and remain hopeful that we will be successful in our rescue operations,” says Sibanye Gold CEO Neal Froneman.

The company remains concerned about the scourge of illegal mining, and it believes that incidents such as these highlight the negative impact that illegal mining has on the safety of employees and the sustainability of the industry. “We are calling on all stakeholders and, in particular, government to take firm action and join forces with us in the fight against illegal mining,” he said.

Sibanye says that it remains committed to safe production and will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure compliance to safety standards and procedures.

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