28 Bodies Retrieved from Flooded Zimbabwe Gold Mine

According to state radio, the death toll of the recently flooded gold mine has increased to 28, with dozens still unaccounted for.

The bodies of 28 “artisanal” gold miners have been retrieved from a flooded mine west of Harare, central Zimbabwe.

Two shafts of the “Battlefields” mine flooded after a dam burst its walls following heavy rains.

A government spokesman said that between 60 and 70 miners could have been in the mine at the time of the flooding.

Rescue operations continue working round the clock to drain flood water from the mines.

“So far we have managed to bring out eight miners alive and we are yet to assess and find any more people down there who are still alive,” Tapererwa Paswavaviri, the government deputy chief mining engineer told reporters on Saturday at the scene of the accident.

The accident in Battlefields, shines a light on the dangers facing artisanal gold miners.

A study by parliament cited by the state-owned Herald newspaper showed that artisanal and small-scale miners may have contributed more than half of the 24.8 tonnes of gold Zimbabwe produced in 2017.

Battlefields and surrounding areas are rich in gold deposits and popular with artisanal miners, known locally as “Makorokoza” or hustlers, who use picks and shovels and generator-powered water pumps. The makeshift shafts and tunnels they work in can easily collapse during the rainy season when the ground is soft.

The mining pits are dotted around a clearing some 8km from the main dirt road. On the edges are shacks made of plastic which serve as accommodation for those digging for gold.

Artisanal mining is not banned outright in Zimbabwe, although it is largely unregulated.


Source; News Agencies

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