160214 11 illegal miners were rescued at Gold 1 abandoned mine hole in Benoni Ekurhuleni,atleast 10 others refused to come of the hole.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi 5

Johannesburg - Illegal mining activities is a serious concern, the mineral resources department said on Sunday.

“The issue of illegal mining remains a serious concern to the department, and we continue to work with law enforcement agencies to handle the matter,” the department said in a statement.

At least 200 illegal miners were trapped at an abandoned mine in Benoni in the East Rand.

Rescue operations were underway to rescue the illegal miners.

The department said there has been improvement in combating illegal mining.

“We have seen some improvement since the formation of illegal mining forums. However, the matter will continue to receive the serious attention it deserves.”

“We commend the mine rescue services on the work they are doing in Benoni currently.” - Sapa