All trapped workers rescued from Implats’ 20 Shaft

23rd October 2020 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

Platinum group metals miner Impala Platinum (Implats) has confirmed that all workers have been evacuated safely from underground, following an incident late on October 21 at its 20 Shaft, in Rustenburg.

The incident related to a mechanical failure in the rock conveyance system on site, which, in turn, triggered all the related safety systems with respect to the entire shaft system, including the main worker and material hoist, rendering some workers in need of evacuation.

At the time of the incident, nine people were in the hoist, but they were rescued without injuries shortly after, while seven people remained at the bottom of the shaft awaiting rescue.

The last group of people waited for the main hoist to be cleared for use and were evacuated safely in the evening of October 22, through the main shaft hoist.

Implats confirms that the 20 Shaft remains closed until the company has completed a full investigation into the incident, with the assistance of external experts and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s safety inspectorate.