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More than 900 Sibanye miners trapped underground, not in danger

The Beatrix gold mine is located in the Free State province of South Africa, some 240km south-west of Johannesburg. (Image courtesy of Sibanye-Stillwater.)

Over 1,000 miners at Sibanye-Stillwater (JSE:SGL) (NYSE:SBGL) Beatrix gold mine in South Africa were trapped underground as a result of a storm that knocked out power on Wednesday night.

Storm knocked out power on Wednesday night, preventing evening shift workers from exiting the mine.

Spokesman James Wellsted told Eye Witness News that sixty-four workers had been rescued overnight, but over 900 others remain stranded. He added the miners were safe and receiving food and water.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), though its President Joseph Mathunjwa, expressed concern about the men trapped at Beatrix, adding the incident “raises serious concerns regarding the lack of emergency plans at the mine for alternative and back-up power generation.”

Mathunjwa said Beatrix was trying to borrow a generator from Harmony next door.

“Surely this cannot be acceptable and best practice. Amcu insists that the mine should have its own back-up arrangements for this kind of contingency,” he said.

Mine officials said power was being restored to the mine but didn’t provide any details on when they expected to be able to bring the remaining miners to the surface.

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