Home South African News Two trapped mine workers die at Kloof mine

Two trapped mine workers die at Kloof mine

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This incident follows after 955 mine workers at the company's Beatrix Mine were trapped underground after a power failure.

Sibanye-Stillwater has said that two of its workers who were trapped underground on Wednesday at Kloof gold operations in Johannesburg, had died.

The two workers were trapped underground in the early hours of Wednesday at Kloof’s Ikamva Shaft following a fall of ground, possibly linked to a nearby seismic event. Rescue personnel were immediately deployed and efforts were made to locate and free the two employees.

“Sibanye-Stillwater regrets to report that two employees were fatally injured during a fall of ground at its Ikamva 4 Shaft, Kloof Operations in Glenharvie at 01:30am on Wednesday 7 February 2017,” Sibanye said in a statement.

“Sibanye-Stillwater expresses their deepest condolences to the deceased employee’s family, friends and colleagues. Operations in the affected area have been suspended pending an investigation into the incident by Sibanye-Stillwater management together with the Department of Mineral Resources and other relevant stakeholders.”

Located on the far West Rand, some 60km south-west of Johannesburg, the Kloof Operation is a complex of intermediate to ultra-deep-level mines at depths of between 1,300m and 3,350m below surface. 

The Department of Mineral Resources also confirmed that the bodies had been recovered and workers declared dead by paramedics.

“The department will commence with an investigation into the accident once the second worker is found and the shaft has been cleared,” the DMR said in its official Twitter page.

In a statement the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources, chairperson, Sahlulele Luzipo, extended his condolences to the families of the two deceased mine workers.

Luzipo said the death of the two miners was shocking, particularly in light of the incident a week ago when over 950 workers were trapped underground at Sibanye Gold Mine, Free State.

 “Although initial reports are that the deaths occurred as a result of a seismic event at the mine, the committee has always emphasised that more investment should be put into researching new technologies to improve and strengthen health and safety,” said Luzipo.

 Furthermore, legislation should be put in place, he said, to punish companies who fail to put mechanisms in place to prevent the loss of lives in mines.

Last week, a group of 955 mineworkers were lucky to escape when they were rescued after being trapped underground at Sibanye’s Beatrix gold mine in Welkom, Free State, following a power failure at the mine as a result of a severe storm in the area. 

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Lindiz van Zilla