Sibanye says 1,800 workers trapped underground in mine

30 April 2019 - 17:36 By Felix Njini and Bloomberg
About 1,800 workers are trapped underground at a Sibanye mine after a shaft was blocked. File photo.
About 1,800 workers are trapped underground at a Sibanye mine after a shaft was blocked. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / City Press / Elizabeth Sejake

About 1,800 workers are trapped underground at a Sibanye Gold platinum operation in South Africa after an incident in the shaft used to transport workers, the company said.

The company may use an adjacent shaft to hoist the workers to the surface, although there is currently no estimate for when that may happen, a spokesperson said.

Some rails being transported underground fell down the shaft and have blocked it, said James Wellsted.

Sibanye is assessing the shaft infrastructure, which may take a couple of hours, he said.

There were no injuries as a result of the accident.

The workers entered the mine on Tuesday morning and the incident happened around lunch time, around when they'd normally be ending their shift, he said.

The incident may revive concerns about safety at Sibanye, which last year experienced a spike in fatal accidents. About 1,000 workers were also trapped underground for more than a day at one of its gold mines in February 2018 after a power failure.

Sibanye's share price fell as much as 4.1% and traded 2.7% lower by 4.31pm in Johannesburg.

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