Three workers dead after rockfall at AngloGold Ashanti's Carletonville mine

The incident occurred at Mponeng, the world’s deepest gold mine, situated around 76 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg.

FILE: AngloGold Ashanti's Mponeng Mine in Carletonville. Picture: anglogoldashanti.com

JOHANNESBURG - Three gold miners trapped underground after a tremor caused by a rockfall at Mponeng mine in South Africa have been found dead, the operator AngloGold Ashanti said Friday.

The incident occurred at Mponeng, the world’s deepest gold mine, situated around 76 kilometres (47 miles) southwest of Johannesburg.

"A fall of ground was caused by a two-magnitude seismic event just after noon yesterday," the company said in a statement.

"Of the seven people affected, four were rescued yesterday with non-life-threatening injuries," it said, adding three bodies had been recovered.

Mining operations have been halted at the four-kilometre deep mine.

AngloGold last month announced that it was selling Mponeng, its last gold mine in South Africa, to its rival Harmony Gold.

Deadly accidents involving miners have been common in South Africa, which has the deepest mines in the world.

But last year the numbers of fatalities dropped sharply to 51 from 81 a year earlier, official data showed.