All workers have been brought to the surface at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Beatrix mine in the Free State‚ the company said on Friday.
About 950 workers were trapped underground at the mine after a power outage on Wednesday.
“Sibanye-Stillwater is pleased to advise that all underground employees at its Beatrix operations in the Free State‚ have safely returned to the surface‚” the company said in a statement.
“Employees will undergo medical examination and trauma counselling‚ together with their families‚ if required. It is expected that operations will resume on Monday 5 February 2018.”
The company said the rescue operation was a result of a concerted effort.
“Mine rescue and medical teams were mobilised and due care was taken to ensure employees were safe and had access to food and water. Detailed contingency plans were made (by) mine rescue teams to evacuate employees through the second outlet at Beatrix 1 shaft‚ in the event that power was not restored‚” it said.
“Through a tremendous effort to install temporary power line pylons by both mine management and Eskom‚ power was successfully restored during the morning of 2 February 2018 and all employees were safely hoisted to surface.”
Livhuwani Mammburu‚ a spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers‚ told Jacaranda FM that the miners were coping well.
“Our branch leadership communicated with the workers at about 2:30am and the workers were in good health‚” he said.
Radio 702 said a second ambulance had left the mine about an hour ago. However‚ the mine said it was not aware of any workers in distress.
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is scheduled to visit the mine on Friday to receive a briefing from the mine and the department’s inspectors.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on mineral resources has condemned Sibanye over the incident.
Source: TMG Digital.