Thirteen trapped underground at Sibanye mine following seismic event

Thirteen gold miners are trapped underground at Sibanye-Stillwater’s (JSE:SGL) (NYSE:SBGL) Masakhane mine in South Africa following a seismic event Thursday, which caused a fall of ground in an operating stope, the company said.

Contact has been made with three of the workers, the firm said, adding that all efforts are being made to locate the 10 employees who remain unaccounted for at the mine, part of the Driefontein operations on the West Rand.

“The Department of Mineral Resources and all the unions have been informed and representatives are on site assisting with the rescue efforts,” Sibanye-Stillwater said.

This is the fourth accident at one of the company’s mines this year. In February, nearly 1,000 miners got stuck underground for more than 24 hours at Beatrix gold mine, but were found unharmed.

A few days later, two miners died after a section of the Kloof gold operation collapsed. Later that month, another worker lost his life while clearing a blocked ore pass at the company’s Driefontein gold operation.

South Africa is home to some of the world’s deepest and most dangerous operations. Mine fatalities increased last year for the first time in a decade, as companies are having to go deeper in ageing shafts to access additional ore as the country has been mined commercially for over a century.

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