Nearly a thousand gold miners trapped underground in South Africa


Central banks and bullion banks are working hard to keep them trapped.

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By Allan Seccombe
Business Day, Johannesburg
Thursday, February 1, 2018

About 950 workers are trapped underground at Sibanye-Stillwater's Beatrix gold mine in the Free State, after an overnight power failure cause by a lightning strike.

Rescue efforts are under way, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said this afternoon.

At least 40 workers had been brought back to the surface at the gold mine, with 950 miners still below ground at 3 Shaft at Beatrix, the union said.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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Sibanye said a power pylon had been knocked over during a storm Wednesday night, cutting power to 4 Shaft and the main Beatrix operations of 2 and 3 Shafts. Power had since been restored to 4 Shaft and people hauled to surface.

Power was restored to 2 Shaft and workers were hoisted to the surface there today.

Sibanye wanted 950 workers at 3 Shaft to wait there until the winder serving the shaft was back in working order, rather than have hundreds of people walking for four hours to 2 Shaft, company spokesperson James Wellsted said.

No one had been injured, he said, and the company was supplying food and water to the workers trapped underground at 3 Shaft by deploying a capsule down the shaft, he said. The professional rescue team was with the trapped miners, he said.

There was no immediate timeline of when the workers would be returned to surface, he said. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

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