Damage to a lift at Elandsrand mine in South Africa left thousands trapped underground for up to 36 hours.
Miners were brought to the surface in a lift normally used for mining equipment.
Colleagues waited at the surface to meet those who had been rescued - by midday on Thursday, 1,000 remained stranded.
Miners were brought to the surface in small groups - and water was sent down to those stranded for many hours without supplies.
Some miners required medical attention, though no-one was seriously injured during the ordeal.
The minister responsible for mining said safety laws needed to be tightened.
The miners were greeted with shouts of joy and whistling as they emerged from their long ordeal underground.