Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) said on Monday that five employees remained unaccounted for following a mud rush at Impala Rustenburg's 6 Shaft on Sunday.
“Available information is that seven employees were working at the bottom of the shaft when the area became inundated as a result of a mud rush. Two employees safely exited the area with minor injuries and are receiving counselling and support.
“As at 18:00, five employees remain unaccounted for. Two search and rescue teams are currently working underground in an effort to locate the missing employees,” it said.
The company said the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and the relevant union leadership have been informed of this incident.
This follows an incident at the 16 Shaft mining complex on November 27, in which a contract employee was fatally injured during underground drilling operations, said the group.
Implats chief executive Nico Muller, said: “The safety of our employees is our utmost priority, and our mine proto teams are doing everything possible to locate the missing employees. It is with deep regret that we record this incident, which comes at a time when we have made significant improvements in the Group's safety performance, with several historic safety records achieved in the past year. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all involved.”
the company said operations at Impala Rustenburg's 6 and 16 Shaft complexes have been suspended