23 May 2018

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is very concerned after yet another mine accident at one of Sibanye-Stillwater’s operations. The Union is critical of management for not withdrawing workers when early warning signs of a possible seismic event came to the fore the previous day.

AMCU has received reports that there was a seismic event at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kloof Operations last night. The event, which happened just after midnight at Ikamva Shaft, apparently measured at 2,2 on the Richter Scale. The event took place while a team was doing clean-up processes at 40-48 Level of Ikamva Shaft 4, and it resulted in three employees being seriously injured. They have been airlifted to different hospitals.

Of greater concern is that there was reportedly another seismic event of the same magnitude (2,2 on the Richter Scale) which took place at Shaft 7, known as Manyono Shaft, at around 11:00 the previous day. According to reports, these two shafts, Ikamva and Manyono mine the same ground on the lower level.

AMCU wishes the injured workers a speedy recovery. We trust that they will be at full health soon, so that they continue to earn a livelihood for their families.

We are, however, again concerned that Sibanye-Stillwater did not make the right decision to stop operations at Ikamva when it was very likely that the seismic event at Manyono would lead to further such events. Their speedy action could have clearly avoided these injuries. We will certainly engage with Sibanye-Stillwater at Friday’s Safety Summit about this and other concerns.

AMCU will be participating in the Sibanye-Stillwater Safety Summit which is scheduled to take place on 25 May 2018. It is reported that this event – which was initially called for by AMCU. We trust that all stakeholders will be present, including the Department of Mineral Resources.