HARARE - About sixty miners were trapped at Zimbabwe's Mimosa mine following an accident on Monday evening, the president of the local miner workers union said. "There are 85 people who were trapped at 5:30 pm yesterday but more than 20 have been rescued so far. A bearing which moves the conveyer collapsed and the conveyer belt caught fire," Shadreck Pelewelo, the president of the National Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe, told Reuters by telephone on Tuesday. The trapped men were in good condition and were receiving food, he added.
It was not clear how far underground the miners were, although the mine reaches depths of about 200 metres (620 feet), according to Implats' web site.
Mimosa is a 50-50 joint venture between Impala Platinum and Aquarius Platinum Ltd. Neither company was immediately available for comment.
Platinum mining in southern Africa, where most of the world's supplies of the precious metal lies, is a dangerous business.
In neighbouring South Africa, a government safety drive has hit output in the sector as a surge of inspections has lead to operational stoppages.