Another 3.5 magnitude earthquake hits Carletonville

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Yet another seismic event has struck the area near Sibanye-Stillwater mine on Gauteng’s far west rand on Friday. The latest event was more powerful than the lethal shaker from Thursday that claimed four lives.

Today’s incident was a magnitude 3.5 compared to yesterday’s 2.2 magnitude event.

The latest shaker comes as rescue workers attempt to reach the three miners still trapped underground.

Sibanye-Stillwater Gold mine says it was busy investigating a larger earthquake on the west side of its mine, when the fatal 2.2 magnitude earthquake hit.

The earthquake caused a rock fall in one of the tunnels, trapping 13 miners inside.

Rescue workers have to use their hands to clear the rock. Three miners remain trapped underground.

“The epicentre of the second one was quite close to the operating face but we don’t know whether that’s exactly why it happened. But it could be that it caused the rock to blast out this way because normally we support from roof. We put roof bolts in and we put netting.  We had back- fill which is like concrete, that we pour in the back and then you’ve got supports there but I think that the actual wall blew in. So we need to understand what the cause of that was,” said the mine’s James Wellsted.

Meanwhile, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has extended his condolences to the families of the mineworkers who died at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Driefontein mine.

Mantashe’s spokesperson Ayanda Shezi says, “The minister is concerned that the gold sector has seen an increase in fatalities with Sibanye one of the main contributors. The minister has therefore urging companies to pay closer attention to health and safety and not prioritise production at expense of lives of mineworkers.”

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