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Fourth miner confirmed dead at South African abandoned mine area

Staff Writer | June 13, 2018
A fourth miner has been found dead at an abandoned working area of a mine owned by Sibanye-Stillwater while a fifth miner remains unaccounted for.
Sibanye-Stillwater
Accident   The search for the fifth employee
Sibanye-Stillwater, in a statement, said the body of a fourth missing employee was found in an abandoned stop ore pass at the Kloof Ikamva shaft, south of Johannesburg.

On Monday, it announced that three miners had died.

"Specialised proto teams have been working through the night to locate and retrieve the employee but it is currently uncertain how long the retrieval process will take," the statement read.

"The search for the fifth employee continues and further updates will be issued when more information becomes available."

Sibanye-Stillwater spokesperson James Wellsted said the fifth worker had disappeared after the group entered the abandoned space.

He did not want to comment on what the miners were doing in an area that had been abandoned. He said temperatures were high in that area and it did not have proper access to oxygen.

"A thorough investigation will be undertaken into the incident," the company said in its statement.

Unions say insufficient care has been taken to ensure the safety of workers. National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) deputy president Joseph Montisetsi told Fin24 on Tuesday morning that the union was seeking a clear mandate regarding the path forward.

"There is a lapse from management's side in terms of safety," he said.

AMCU has called for government intervention into ensuring safety for miners.

Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman last week told an investor meeting that the company had seen a “regression in safety performance”, blaming the majority of accidents to human error.


 

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