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Missing worker at Sibanye’s Kloof gold mine found dead

Kloof mine is the world’s fifth deepest gold operation. (Image courtesy of Sibanye-Stillwater.)

Sibanye-Stillwater (JSE: SSW) (NYSE: SBSW) said on Thursday the employee who went missing on September 19 at its Kloof gold underground operation in South Africa has been found dead. 

The body was located a level below where he had been carrying out electrical maintenance work with his team on Sunday morning. After completing the task, the employee separated from his team for unknown reasons, the precious metals miners said. 

Two members of the rescue team trying to locate the missing worker lost their lives on Sunday evening as a result of extremely high temperatures registered deep underground. 

The board and management of Sibanye-Stillwater extended their condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased employee. They said a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident, including the reasons the employee ventured into an area he should not have been in, will be carried out. 

South Africa is home to some of the world’s deepest and most dangerous operations 

South Africa is home to some of the world’s deepest and most dangerous operations. Mine fatalities become more common as companies need to go deeper in ageing shafts to access additional ore. At those depths, temperatures reach well above 50 Celsius amid very high humidity.  

Sibanye’s Kloof mine is the world’s fifth deepest gold operation, reaching depths of over 3.3 kilometres (2 miles).   

Nine people died at the company’s gold mines last year. 

Peer Harmony Gold (JSE: HAR) (NYSE: HMY), which operates Mponeng — the world’s deepest mine — reported its seventh fatality of the year earlier this month.

Sibanye was hit in 2018 with a class action lawsuit on behalf of the company’s shareholders due to losses suffered after a series of deaths at the company’s mines. The case was dismissed in 2020.  

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