Mining & Energy
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File photo: Montepuez Ruby Mining
Eleven illegal miners died as a result of the land subsidence in a ruby mine in the province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, authorities said Thursday.
The victims died at three different times, according to Inspector General of the Ministry of Minerals Resources and Energy (MIREM) Obete Matine who spoke on Thursday evening at a press conference in Maputo.
“The first death happened on the 4th of Feb., after a wall where the illegal miners were extracting the ores collapsed and fell on them,” said Matine, adding that at dawn on the 5th, two more people died in the same area due to the similar accident.
“Last night (Wednesday) another eight people died,” he said.
Most of the victims come from the province of Nampula, one of the victims is from Guinea-Bissau, the general inspector explained, adding that women and children are also involved and being used to smuggle the precious stones.
“The invasion of the mine takes place in the rainy season because the illegal miners need to sieve the minerals with rainwater,” he said.
Matine said there are financiers behind the illegal mining activities who exploit the poverty of the local people and hire them to do the job.
Since January, nearly 30 deaths have been registered as a result of illegal mining in the central and northern region of the country.Source: Xinhua
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