Mining resumes at Sibanye mine as investigation into falling rails starts

Sibanye-Stillwater's Thembelani shaft in Rustenburg on Friday was certified safe for normal hoisting operations after repair work.
Sibanye-Stillwater's Thembelani shaft in Rustenburg on Friday was certified safe for normal hoisting operations after repair work.
Image: Gallo Images

Underground operations resumed at Sibanye-Stillwater's Thembelani shaft in Rustenburg on Friday after it was certified safe for normal hoisting operations.

"The removal of the fallen rails, shaft repair work and independent assessment of the shaft was completed safely and without incident, which is testament to the deep levels of competence within our organisation," CEO Neal Froneman said. "We will now focus on establishing exactly what caused the rails to dislodge."

About 1pm on Tuesday April 30 rails which were being transported underground at the Thembelani shaft came loose while being slung under the conveyance and fell down the shaft, the company said.

"While an inspection was performed by the shaft personnel, about 1,800 day shift employees gathered at the shaft stations at the Thembelani shaft. All employees were later safely hoisted from the 14th level that evening after the shaft inspection confirmed that it was safe to do so."

Froneman said the workers were safe at all times during the incident.

"Safe production has been, is and will be our priority, and our safety procedures were effective in ensuring that none of our employees was exposed to danger at any time during the events. All prudent measures were taken to select the safest option for all our employees to return home safely."


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