Mineworkers at Sibanye Gold Mine's Ya Rona shaft, level 33 in Carletonville. Photo: Itumeleng English

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Monday that it was "angry and concerned" at the rate at which mining incidents were happening at Sibanye Stillwater's operations. 

This comes after Sibanye confirmed that three minerworkers died and two others remain trapped at Sibanye-Stillwater's Kloof Ikamva Shaft near Westonaria, South-West of Johannesburg, on Monday. 

"It seems that disasters have become the order of the day at Sibanye Stillwater and as NUM we are highly disturbed and angered by this as this company is leading the pack in terms fatalities and the number of deaths per mine," Peter Bailey, NUM health and safety chairperson said. 

"This is unacceptable as we don't sell our lives,  limbs or lungs to the industry but our labour to provide for our families. The Department of Mineral Resources Minister and its inspectorate must now act and act hard on this employer or bear the might of NUM."

NUM said that the number of dead miners stood at four, but Sibanye disputed this, saying that there had been an incident at its Kloof Ikamva shaft involving five employees who entered an abandoned working place. 

"Sadly, three employees have been retrieved and declared deceased. Mine rescue teams are still searching for two employees," the mine said. 

Kloof mine is a shallow to ultra-deep level gold mine consisting of five producing shaft complexes that mine open hound and pillars with the deepest operating level some 3,347 meters below surface. 

In February this year, two workers were trapped underground at the same shaft following a seismic incident. 

Sibanye-Stillwater said the Department of Mineral Resources and all the unions have been informed about the incident. 

- African News Agency