Dual-listed Sibanye-Stillwater regrets to advise that there has been an incident at its Kloof Ikamva shaft involving five employees who entered an abandoned working place.
Sadly, three employees were retrieved and declared deceased yesterday.
Mine rescue teams have located the deceased body of the fourth missing employee in the abandoned stope ore pass at its Kloof Ikamva shaft.
Specialised proto teams have been working through the night to locate and retrieve the employee but it is currently uncertain how long the retrieval process will take.
The search for the fifth employee continues and further updates will be issued when more information becomes available.
Sibanye-Stillwater expresses their deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased employees.
The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and all the industry unions have been informed.
Two weeks ago Sibanye-Stillwater successfully hosted a multi-stakeholder safety and health summit.
It was well attended by key industry stakeholders including the DMR, AMCU, NUM, UASA and Solidarity on 25 May.
Despite significant improvements in safety across the South African mining industry, the positive safety trend was reversed in 2017, when for the first time in 10 years, the industry showed an increase in work related fatal accidents.
Sibanye-Stillwater safety incidents 2018:
In May Sibanye-Stillwater confirmed that seven trapped workers at its Driefontein Masakhane shaft did not survive a seismic event that resulted in a fall of ground, but were recovered and brought to surface. Another six employees were successfully rescued.
On 12 February Sibanye-Stillwater reported an employee was fatally injured while clearing a blocked ore pass at its Driefontein operations.
That followed two previous incidents that have happened in a short space of time.
In early February two employees were killed by a fall of ground at Sibanye’s Kloof mine that was possibly linked to a nearby seismic event.
On 31 January over 1 000 miners were trapped underground at the company’s Beatrix mine in the Free State – however all employees were rescued safely.
The gold sector has seen an increase in fatalities this year, with Sibanye-Stillwater as one of the main contributors.
This suggests that greater attention be paid to issues of safety, particularly the protection of the lives of workers, as opposed to the insistence of chasing production.