13 trapped underground at South African gold mine

13 trapped underground at South African gold mine

Four people are confirmed to have died following a seismic incident at Sibanye-Stillwater's Masakhane Mine between Carletonville and Westonaria on the West Rand.

In January a power outage trapped hundreds miners underground at the Beatrix operations in the Free State province, although all were safely returned to surface.

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

South Africa also has one of the deepest mines in the world.

"The gold sector has seen an increase in fatalities this year‚ with Sibanye-Stillwater as one of the main contributors".

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The Driefontein accident was caused by a seismic event at about 1:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, Sibanye said.

The Department of Mineral Resources and unions had been informed of the event Thursday and had representatives on the site assisting with the rescue efforts. The six rescued miners have been hospitalised.

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".

The previous fatal accidents at Sibanye this year included two people who were killed at Driefontein in separate incidents.

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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