Miners feared dead in Zimbabwe mine collapse

The 100-meter mine shaft collapsed on Wednesday 25th November with government officials suspecting that the support pillars may have been damaged by blasting during the illegal mining activities.

Miners feared dead in Zimbabwe mine collapse

At least 30 informal miners have been trapped underground with some feared dead in Bindura, northeastern Zimbabwe after a shaft in an abandoned gold mine collapsed. This is according to the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation.

The 100-meter mine shaft collapsed on Wednesday 25th November with government officials suspecting that the support pillars may have been damaged by blasting during the illegal mining activities. Initial efforts to rescue the miners on Thursday were hampered by lack of equipment with the generator needed pump water from the shaft failed. As of Friday, 6 miners had been rescued with 30 others remaining unaccounted for.

The incident comes barely weeks after two similar incidents in Esigodini and Chegutu in which six miners died.

Gold accounts for 60% of exports in Zimbabwe with many young people being involved in illegal mining activities in disused mines that remain unguarded. Illegal mining has increased due to high levels of unemployment in the country especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the World Bank, around 90% of the world’s miners, work in small scale artisanal operations or illegally by trespassing on land controlled by others, including bigger mining companies.

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