Media releases

Mines Rescue Services tests world-first technology at South Deep Twin Shaft

Westonaria, 25 January 2021:  Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine is proud to have been part of the testing of a new mobile rescue winder ‒ developed by the non-profit Mines Rescue Services (MRS) in collaboration with the Minerals Council South Africa, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and labour ‒ on Thursday, 21 January 2021, at South Deep’s Twin Shaft.

The mobile rescue winder, a world-first technology, will allow proto teams to access shafts and carry out rescue operations at depths of 3,000 metres if required. It can carry up to six people at a time, as well as equipment and medical supplies. Previously, rescue winders could reach depths of 1,200 metres.

Says Mannas Fourie, CEO of Mines Rescue Services: “Eight out of the ten deepest mines in the world are located in South Africa. Once the mobile rescue winder has been fully licenced by the DMRE, we will be able to access employees located at depths of up to 3,000 metres faster than we were able to before in the event of an emergency.”

Says Martin Preece, Executive Vice President Gold Fields South Africa: “Our single most important job is to ensure that each and every employee returns home safely and unharmed at the end of every day. We are very proud to have been able to assist MRS with the testing and licencing of the mobile rescue winder. South Deep’s Twin Shaft is unique in that it is the deepest single drop shaft in the world, reaching 3,000 metres. The new mobile rescue winder puts us in reach of any mining operation in South Africa in the event of an incident that prevents us from bringing our people back to surface, and will allow us to do so rapidly. It is an insurance policy we hope we never have to use, but feel comforted to have.”

“This is a world-first technology, developed in South Africa, by South Africans, for the South African mining industry,” concludes Mannas Fourie.

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vy7KgWplOI&feature=youtu.be

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