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Zimbabwe struggles to save trapped miners as flood halts rescue

Mining Accident Alert

Hope is fading by the day for 40 informal gold miners trapped in a collapsed mine in Zimbabwe for more than 48 hours ago after rescue operations were stalled due to flooding.

The disused mine collapsed late on Wednesday in Bindura town, about 70km (43 miles) north of the capital, Harare, after uncontrolled blasting by informal miners keen on making quick cash in the economically troubled southern African country.

Wellington Takavarasha, the head of Zimbabwe Miners Federation, which represents small scale miners in the country, told Al Jazeera the mine was still flooded, but held out hope for the trapped miners.

“Nothing much has changed on the ground. We are currently dewatering the mine because it is flooded so that rescue operations can resume. The ground is too wet right now and that makes rescue operations dangerous,” he said.

“This is an underground mine so I think the miners could have sought safety in any one of the tunnels. But the mine is flooded.”

Takavarasha said the miners were working at the Ran Gold Mine when a shaft gave in. He said illegal miners use explosives to access rich gold belts.

He added that the number of those trapped underground could be higher because informal miners do not keep a tally of people operating in the mines they occupy.

So far, only six miners have been rescued from the debris and are recovering at a hospital.

Just last week, 10 illegal gold miners were buried alive at Premier Estate, located in the eastern part of the country, when the owners of the mine commenced reclamation – a process of restoring mined land to a natural or economically usable state.

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3 killed in Ecuador mine collapse due to a landslide

Mining Accident Alert

An illegal coal mine collapsed in a landslide in north-western Ecuador, killing at least three people, the country’s disaster relief agency said Thursday.

Three people were rescued, and another two are still missing, said the National Risk and Emergency Management Service.

The collapse happened at around 3 p.m. local time (2000 GMT) on Wednesday in the Esmeraldas province near the border with Colombia.

Local media reported that the accident resulted from excavations in an illegal mine that caused a landslide.

“I have ordered risk and emergency agencies to take all necessary actions to safeguard people’s lives,” Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno tweeted.

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Gas explosion leaves 4 dead, 1 injured in coal mine in north China’s Shanxi Province

Mining Accident Alert

Four people have been confirmed dead and another injured in a gas explosion in a coal mine in north China’s Shanxi Province, according to local authorities on Tuesday.

The explosion happened in the mine owned by Lu’an Group at around 2am on Tuesday. The rescue work has ended. An investigation into the cause of the blast is under way.

The mine has an annual production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes.

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At least 50 dead after gold mine collapses in DR Congo #MineCollapse #DRC #Africa

Mining Accident Alert

At least 50 people have been killed after a gold mine collapsed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) has said.

The artisanal gold mine is based near Kamituga in the east of the African country.

Emiliane Itongwa, president of the Initiative of Support and Social Supervision of Women, said the site collapsed at around 3pm local time after heavy rain on Friday.

The NGO president added: “Several miners were in the shaft which was covered and no one could get out. We are talking about fifty young people.”

Photos on social media showed hundreds of people gathered on a hillside around the mineshaft entrance.

The mine was not located on the Kamituga gold concession owned by Canadian miner Banro Corporation, the company’s chief executive said.

Courtesy of Sky News

Landslide kills at least five in Kasongo territory, Maniema province, DRC #Landslide #Kasongo #Maniema #DRC #Africa

Landslide Danger Alert

At least five people were killed and five others injured after a landslide occurred in the Mukulungu area of Kasongo territory (Maniema province) on Friday, September 4. The incident reportedly led to the collapse of an artisan gold mine.

Residual disruptions are expected in the vicinity of the incident in the coming hours and days as response operations continue.

Individuals in Kasongo territory are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the vicinity of the incident over the near term, avoid landslide-prone areas, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

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