Three mineworkers died following mud-rush at Implats operation in Rustenburg. File Photo: Impala Platinum website.
Three mineworkers died following mud-rush at Implats operation in Rustenburg. File Photo: Impala Platinum website.

Three mineworkers killed following mud-rush at Implats operation in Rustenburg

By Molaole Montsho Time of article published Nov 30, 2021

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Rustenburg-Three of the five mineworkers who went missing during a mud-rush at Impala Platinum Mine’s 6 Shaft in Rustenburg has been found dead, the company said on Tuesday.

"It is with deep regret we report that the search and rescue teams recovered the bodies of three of our employees. Their families have been notified and are receiving counselling and support.

"Two of our employees were, however, successfully rescued from the area and transferred to hospital," said spokesperson Johan Theron.

He said the search and rescue operations continued around the clock since the underground mud-rush incident at Impala Rustenburg’s Six Shaft, which took place on Sunday.

“Eight search and rescue teams from Impala Rustenburg and other mining companies were engaged in clearing accumulated material in their search for the five missing employees.

“The teams reached the affected area mid-afternoon.”

He said all operations at Impala Rustenburg's Six Shaft remain suspended and Impala continues to work closely with the department of mineral resources and energy and other stakeholders.

“No identities will be disclosed at this time while their next of kin are being informed.

“Our deepest sympathies lie with the families, friends and colleagues of those whose lives were lost in this tragic accident,” he said.

The company said seven workers were working at the bottom of the shaft when the area

became inundated as a result of a mud rush on Sunday.

Two workers safely exited the area with minor injuries and received counselling and support.

This incident followed a separate incident at the Six Shaft on November 27 in which a contract worker was killed during underground drilling operations.

All operations at Impala Rustenburg's Six and Sixteen Shaft complexes have been suspended until a full and comprehensive report is available, the company said

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