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US News Zimbabwe: At least 40 illegal miners trapped after a mine collapse

16:55  27 november  2020
16:55  27 november  2020 Source:   20minutes.fr

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At least 40 informal miners in Zimbabwe have been trapped underground after a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed Small-scale miners often operate illegally to avoid selling their bullion to the state-owned buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, as they are paid only 55 per cent in foreign currency.

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Les accidents de ce type sont fréquent dans le pays. © ARMANDO FRANCA / AP / SIPA Accidents of this type are frequent in the country. ACCIDENT - Mine shaft collapsed after pillars exploded and workers were entombed

At least forty illegal miners were trapped after a disused gold mine in Zimbabwe collapsed , the National Federation of Minors announced Thursday. The accident happened Wednesday evening in the town of Bindura, some 70 km north of the capital Harare, Federation official Wellington Takavarasha said. Miners were working inside the disused Ran Gold Mine when a shaft collapsed. Six minors were able to be freed from the rubble and hospitalized.

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At least 40 informal miners in Zimbabwe have been trapped underground after a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed Small-scale miners often operate illegally to avoid selling their bullion to the state-owned buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, as they are paid only 55 percent in foreign currency.

Relatives and people gather after around 40 informal miners were trapped underground in northeastern Zimbabwe when a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed . Six miners have since been pulled out and taken to hospital.

"Those who were rescued said there were around 40 people in the shaft of mine at the time of the accident," Wellington Takavarasha said, adding that rescue operations were still ongoing. The mine collapsed after miners, some of whom belong to "organized unions", "blew up some pillars," said Nathan Nkomo, a relief official. "The number (of minors trapped) is not yet established."

The funeral directors already on the site

Hundreds of people gathered on the site to attend the help , including relatives of the trapped minors, noted journalists. Rescuers were pumping water from a flooded entrance in an attempt to gain access to the miners, the sources said. "I'm waiting (news) from my brother's son who is trapped underground," said Patience Jacob, worried about what will happen next. "I think the rescue team is not very efficient," she said, saying "doubting" the minors will be found alive. Funeral directors have also set up tents at the mine site.

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At least nine illegal gold miners have died in Zimbabwe after they detonated explosives underground and were trapped at a mine owned by unlisted At least 24 people died in February when underground shafts were flooded at two abandoned mines in Battlefield, which is to the west of Harare.

Relatives and people gather after around 40 informal miners were trapped underground in northeastern Zimbabwe when a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed . Six miners have since been pulled out and taken to hospital.

Frequent accidents

Zimbabwe's subsoil harbors many minerals, including platinum, diamonds, gold, coal and copper. Mining operations are a major source of income for the country, where gold alone accounts for 60% of exports. Without a job in this southern African country where unemployment stands at around 90%, many men survive working in disused mines or illegally enter still-operating mines.

Accidents are frequent. In February 2019, at least 24 illegal miners were killed at the bottom of abandoned and flooded wells as a result of thunderstorms in central Zimbabwe. And in May of the same year, at least nine others were killed in explosions in a gold mine in Mazowe (north).

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This is interesting!