#LilyMine: Minister hopeful trapped workers will survive

Three mineworkers are trapped inside shaft four after the gold mine caved in on Friday.

Lily Mine in Baberton, Mpumalanga. Picture: Vantage Goldfields Limited.

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane is 'hopeful' three workers trapped underground at the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga will be brought to the surface alive.

Dozens of mineworkers were trapped when a shaft at the gold mine in Barberton collapsed on Friday.

Seventy-nine of them were rescued within hours, but three people who were inside a container when the ground gave way are unaccounted for.

Speaking on the side-lines of the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, Zwane says the three workers remain trapped in shaft number four, but there is hope.

"We received reports this morning that the mine, using a detecting metal, has detected something which brings hope that they have finally detected where the container is."

He says the mine has been closed in the interest of safety.

"We were encouraged by the fact that before we could even issue Section 54, management agreed that the situation needed that kind of action."

Zwane spent several hours at the mine on Friday.