Sibanye-Stillwater announced that the underground operations at its Thembelani shaft have resumed after the shaft was certified safe for normal hoisting operations.


Image: Operations resume at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Thembelani mine in Rustenburg. Photo courtesy of Sibanye-Stillwater.

CEO, Neal Froneman commented: “We wish to thank management and employees at the shaft for their prompt  and  composed  response. The  removal  of  the  fallen  rails,  shaft  repair  work  and  independent assessment of the shaft was also completed safely and without incident which is testament to the deep levels of competence within our organisation.

“We will now focus on establishing exactly what caused the rails to dislodge.  It is unfortunate that this incident was dramatised based on impetuous statements from certain stakeholders that contained serious misrepresentations.  Safe production has been, is and will be our first priority, and our safety procedures were effective in ensuring that none of our employees was exposed to danger at any time during the events.  All prudent measures were taken to select the safest option for all our employees to return home safely.”

Background: At about 13:00 on Tuesday, 30 April 2019, some rails which were being transported underground at the Thembelani shaft, Rustenburg, whilst being slung under the conveyance, came loose and fell down the shaft.  While an inspection  was performed  by  the  shaft  personnel,  approximately  1,800  day  shift  employees gathered at the shaft stations at the Thembelani shaft.  All employees were later safely hoisted from the 14th level that evening after the shaft inspection confirmed that it was safe to do so.

Source: Company Press Release