Chimoio (Mozambique), 24 Feb (AIM) – One man died on Wednesday when an illegal gold mine collapsed at Machipanda, in the central Mozambican province of Manica.
The 23 year old man, named only as Danimo, contracted fatal injuries inside the mine where he, and three others, were digging for the precious metal. One of the eye-witnesses, Marco Ndapiwa, told AIM that Danimo and his colleagues were inside the mine when it was raining. He said the heavy rain caused the mine to collapse on those inside.
Danimo was taken by his colleagues to the nearest health unit. He was then transferred to Chimoio provincial hospital, where he died.
“The accident was caused by the rain”, said Ndapiwa. “They were working at a depth of more than three metres when it rained. The young man was buried. He was still alive, when he was found beneath a layer of earth. There was first aid, but he lost his life in the provincial hospital”.
This part of Manica is rich in gold and other valuable minerals, which act as a magnet drawing people from across central Mozambique and the neighbouring countries, particularly Zimbabwe, in search of their fortune.
But illegal mining is highly dangerous, and mine shafts are often dug without observing any safety measures. Last year, there were ten deaths in mine collapses in Manica district (where Machipanda is located).
To avoid further loss of life the government’s mineral resource sector, in collaboration with the local community and religious leaderships, has been undertaking awareness and training campaigns about the safety measures that should be observed during informal mining.