11 miners dead at Rustenburg mine

A serious safety incident involving a winder rope has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries at an Implats mine.

Tragedy struck yesterday when 11 miners died and 75 others were injured at the Impala Platinum (Implats) Rustenburg mine in the North West.

This is according to Implat’s Johan Theron, who confirmed in a media statement that a serious safety incident involving a winder rope occurred yesterday afternoon at its 11 Shaft operation.

“This rope is connected to the personnel conveyance, which hoists employees up and down the shaft. The conveyance comprises three levels, each with a capacity to carry 35 personnel.

“Initial reports indicate that there have been several serious injuries, but an accurate assessment of the full human impacts of the accident is not currently possible, given the complexity of the rescue operation.”

Implats said it immediately mobilised paramedics and its proto teams, consisting of workers trained to perform underground rescues.

They accessed underground workings and the two upper levels of the conveyance were cleared. The rescue was then focused on vacating the lower level. All 86 impacted employees were accounted for once rescue operations were complete.

“The safety of our employees is paramount and we are providing all possible support to those involved and working closely with the relevant authorities.”

He said Implats continues to ‘prioritise safety above all else’.

CEO Nico Muller described yesterday as the ‘darkest day in the history of Implats’.

The company will provide updates when new information becomes available.


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