Tags: AF | Zimbabwe | Illegal Miners

Zimbabwe: 3 Die, up to 7 Still Trapped in Illegal Mine

Thursday, 03 March 2016 03:33 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Three illegal miners have died and up to seven more are still trapped underground in Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields, a police spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The bodies of three artisanal miners have been recovered after police discovered the unlicensed miners trapped under a collapsed mine on Wednesday, said police spokeswoman Charity Charamba. Police are still investigating the cause of the collapse.

"We suspect that up to seven people are still trapped and excavators are busy at work although waterlogging is slowing down the recovery operation," said Charamba.

Illegal miners invaded the area after the Zimbabwean government took control of the diamond fields and ordered international mining companies to halt operations. Last month, Zimbabwe's mining ministry announced that all diamond mining will now be managed by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Mining Company, wholly owned by the government. Nine mine operators, including Chinese and Russian companies, who were working in the diamond fields were ordered to vacate the area, with the ministry saying their licenses had expired.

The Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe caught global attention in 2006 when thousands of unlicensed artisanal miners flooded the area in search of alluvial stones to sell on the black market. They were later driven out by the army in an operation criticized by human rights groups for its brutality.

Follow Farai Mutsaka on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MutsakaFarai

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Three illegal miners have died and up to seven more are still trapped underground in Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields, a police spokeswoman said on Thursday.The bodies of three artisanal miners have been recovered after police discovered the unlicensed miners trapped under...
AF,Zimbabwe,Illegal Miners
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2016-33-03
Thursday, 03 March 2016 03:33 PM
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