Citizen Reporter
Reporter
1 minute read
29 Nov 2021
9:26 am

Search continues for five mineworkers trapped at Implats’ Rustenburg mine

Citizen Reporter

Seven mineworkers were working at the bottom of a shaft when the area became flooded as a result of a mudslide.

Picture: iStock

Search and rescue operations for five missing mineworkers were still ongoing on Monday morning following a mudslide at Impala Platinum’s (Implats’) mine in Rustenburg, North West.

According to Implats, on Sunday seven mineworkers were working at the bottom of a shaft when the area became flooded as a result of a mudslide. Two employees safely exited the area with minor injuries and received counselling and support.

As of 6pm, five employees remained unaccounted for, and two search and rescue teams were working underground in an effort to locate the missing miners.

The incident followed a separate event that occurred at the platinum mine’s 16 shaft mining complex on 27 November, where a contract employee was fatally injured during underground drilling operations.

Implats said the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and the relevant union leadership had been informed of the incident.

“Contact is being made with the families of the missing employees in order to provide updates on the search and rescue mission, as well as counselling and support,” the company said in a statement.

Implats CEO Nico Muller said the safety of their employees remained their priority, and the mine’s proto teams were doing everything possible to locate the missing mineworkers.

“It is with deep regret that we record this incident, which comes at a time when we have made significant improvements in the group’s safety performance, with several historic safety records achieved in the past year.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with all involved,” he said.

All operations at Impala Rustenburg’s 6 and 16 shaft complexes have been suspended until a full and comprehensive report on the latest underground incident is available.

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe