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Miners remain trapped after shaft collapse at Impala Platinum

While the two miners have not been located, they're believed to be alive following the collapse.

FILE: Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg. Picture: implats.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - Rescue operations resume today for two miners who went missing after a rockfall at the Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg.

One of the shafts at the North West mine collapsed on Tuesday, trapping several miners.

Two rock drill operators have not been located, but are believed to be alive.

The mine's spokesperson Johan Theron says, "They've made good progress overnight. They're right there in the area now, where the people were last working, but progress has been delayed by large rocks so they have to be very careful. We hope we're near them."

Operations at the shaft were suspended when the shaft collapsed on Tuesday, trapping a total of nine workers underground before seven were rescued, Implats' investor relations officer Alice Lourens told Reuters.

She said the company, the world's second-biggest platinum producer, was trying to find the missing workers.

It was not immediately clear how much output the company had lost following the closure of the shaft, she said.

"It's difficult to quantify, it depends on an investigation ... It's too early to say," said Lourens.

The cause of the collapse at the mine had not yet been established, the company said.

Earlier this year, four miners died in an underground fire at the same mine.

Police said the four men died due to smoke inhalation.

The mine was evacuated, but the four men didn't not make it to the surface alive.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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