Zimbabwe mine shaft collapse

At least 40 miners in Zimbabwe have been trapped underground after a shaft collapsed in a disused gold mine.  This happened late on Wednesday in the town of Bindura – 70 kilometers north of Harare.

Six miners have since been pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital.  “Those who where rescued said there were about 40 people in the mine shaft at the time of the incident” said Takavarasha, adding that rescue efforts were ongoing.

Mining is a major source of foreign for Zimbabwe, where gold alone accounts for 60% of exports.  The landlocked southern African country is home to vast gold and minerals reserves, including diamonds and platinum.  The gold sector provides jobs to nearly 10% of the country’s population.

Small scale miners often operate illegally to avoid selling their bullion to the state-owned buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, as they are paid only 55% of foreign currency.

The remaining 45% is paid in Zimbabwean dollars which is notorious for its weakness.  Accidents are relatively common in decommissioned mines particularly after rain.




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