Allowing one to experience the daily operations underground, Sibanye Gold took Westside Fm and other media houses beneath the land of Gold.
The day took off after a filling breakfast at Cooke operations, we then were taken through a safety drill demonstration session and finally what we had all been waiting for, the underground experience. Accompanied by Sibanye safety officials, and several other underground managers and supervisors, we made our way to the Masimthembe shaft. Geared up and ready for action the shaft took us what seemed to be a lifetime down into the cold mine. We started off with a few observations of red marked walls, representing that no “vehicles” were allowed beyond that point as well as the universal meaning “danger ahead”.
After a swift ride in their underground shongololo which took us further into the mine, we gazed in awe at the beauty and organism of the underground world. We were taught of the true origin of gold. No folks! it is not the gold horizontal line you see underground, that is in fact “fools gold”. True gold lies in the “pebbles” you find. That “pebble” is processed into a semi finished piece, where it is then further processed and refined to give you gold in its purest form. We witnessed the hard labour of underground drilling, and the process of gathering pebbles. Grasping a raw idea of what really goes down in the ordinary day of a mine worker, which confirmed it’s a lengthy, tiresome and low pay one.
Sibanye gave us an opportunity into dimensions of the mining sector one would only dream of. From mining 101, an underground experience to a sneak peek into to the life of a mine worker, a job well done. Thank you for opening your doors, see you soon.
Words: Edah West
Photos: Tebogo Bouks