Mining & Energy
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At least 10 people have died after the collapse of an unsanctioned ruby mine at the Namanhumbir administrative post, Montepuez district, Cabo Delgado province, in northern Mozambique. Two were rescued alive.
The information was confirmed by the provincial director of Mineral Resources and Energy in Cabo Delgado, Ramiro Nguiraze.
Nguiraze told national broadcaster Radio Mozambique that it is believed as many as 15 people could have been buried in the unsanctioned mine, where rescue operations using machinery mobilised by the Montepuez Ruby Mining Company were under way.
A team from the Provincial Directorate of Mineral Resources and Energy is to visit the site to try to establish the cause of the accident today.
Unofficial mines often collapse in Mozambique because of the absence of elementary safety standards, especially during the rainy season.
While noting that rescue operations were under way at the mine, Inspector General Obete Matine of the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME) said: “We are urgently calling on everybody involved in artisanal mining to desist, because it is not worth it.”
Matine said that, in order to avoid accidents, MIREME was working to “transform illegal mining into legal where possible through associations, and insisting on good practices”.
MIREME also issues instructions on safety levels and designates areas where it is possible to conduct activities, but in view of the frequency of accidents, it was necessary to strengthen control and safety measures still further.
“This means training inspection and surveillance personnel and creating a rescue, interconnection and collaborative response system for accidents,” Matine said.
Montepuez has some of the largest ruby deposits of rubies in the world, and is an magnet for illegal miners from Mozambique and other African countries.Source: AIM
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