Johannesburg – Sibanye-Stillwater[JSE:SGL] shares took a slump following last week’s deadly underground incident at one of its mines.
Shares were down 7.7% to R9.97 in Monday afternoon trade on the JSE, after opening at R10.68.
A total of 13 mineworkers were trapped underground on Thursday at the firm’s Masakhane shaft in Driefontein, following seismic activity. Seven workers were killed and six of the surviving employees are in stable condition in hospital, according to the diversified mineral producer.
CEO Neal Froneman said the company and the Department of Mineral Resources will conduct a comprehensive investigation into this incident to prevent similar occurrences.
Sibanye said a seismic event measuring 2.5 on the Richter scale occurred on the western side of the Driefontein operations at about 12:15 on Thursday.
Another tremor, measuring about 2.2 on the Richter scale, occurred at about 13:20. It hit the eastern of the shaft, about 2.5km away from the first event.
Blasting operations were suspended across Driefontein operations following the seismic activity, but resumed on Saturday at the unaffected shafts.
Underground earthquakes are normal in South Africa's deep-level mines, and companies say the geological activity is difficult to prevent.
In February, two mineworkers died at another Sibanye-owned mine, while 955 miners were temporarily trapped underground at the firm’s Welkom operation earlier this year.
The incident was caused by an electricity outage during a storm. All the workers were safely rescued.
Unions have raised concern over safety levels at the mining giant, with the National Union of Mineworkers promising to hold talks with mine management.* SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.