[UPDATE] 12 of 13 miners remain trapped in Sibanye-Stillwater mine

The mine says it has only managed to establish contact with five miners and has so far only brought one up to surface.

Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – Twelve miners remain trapped at the Sibanye-Stillwater mine’s Driefontein operations following a seismic event earlier on Thursday afternoon.

The mine says it has only managed to establish contact with five miners under Masakhane mine and has so far only brought one up to surface.

The remaining eight, however, still remain unaccounted for.

The firm's James Wellsted said: “We had a seismic event about three kilometres underground at our Driefontein mine and it resulted in a fall of ground in one of the stopes where 13 of our employees were working.”

Wellsted says rescue attempts are underway.

“So we are engaging or we are actually talking to the other four and we’re still looking for eight employees which we haven’t found yet.”

13 miners had initially been trapped underground.

At the same time, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union says it is concerned that the company did not clear the shafts when an earlier seismic event happened.

Its president Joseph Mathunjwa said: “There were three seismic events, of which I believe the first seismic event that happened its where then mine should have evacuated the working areas and to get the workers out of underground before the second seismic event happened.”