Sibanye safely returns 1,800 platinum miners to the surface

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By BusinessDay

SIBANYE-Stillwater has safely returned 1,800 miners to surface at its Thembelani platinum mine after the shaft was closed due to an accident, the company said on Wednesday.

Railway lines dropped down a shaft at the platinum mine near Rustenburg, preventing 1,800 workers from coming up from underground for hours, the company said on Tuesday.

An inspection of the shaft showed it was safe to hoist people,  and by 9.30pm, 1,500 miners had returned to the surface and work was continuing to collect the remaining 300 workers which was completed just after midnight.

No one was hurt in the incident, which happened around 1pm on Tuesday.

Employees underground completing their day shift were kept near the shaft for when it re-opened.

The department of mineral resources said it was monitoring the situation.

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Sibanye brought 955 miners to the surface at its Beatrix gold mine in February 2018 after a storm damaged electricity supply to the operation and trapped them for more than 24 hours.

Sibanye, however, had a dismal track record at its gold mines during 2018, when in the first half of the year 21 employees were killed in a number of incidents, prompting a much tougher stance on safety.