PARAMARIBO (Reuters) – Fourteen casual gold miners had been killed in a tunnel collapse in Suriname on Monday afternoon on a concession belonging to a subsidiary of Chinese state miner Zijin Mining, a Surinamese official stated.
Fellow miners had recovered many of the our bodies by the point authorities rescue groups arrived on the website within the nation’s south, Jerry Slijngard of the Disaster Management Coordination Centre advised native Radio ABC Suriname on Tuesday morning.
A French search and rescue group will help in recovering extra potential casualties, he added.
President Chan Santokhi on Monday introduced a second of nationwide mourning over the deaths.
Rosebel Gold Mines, the subsidiary bought by Zijin in February, stated in a press release on Monday it regretted the deaths and had tried to take away casual miners, recognized domestically as porknokkers, with an eviction order, however that they had returned.
“We have been in discussions with the Surinamese authorities for quite some time, during which we have repeatedly emphasized the dangers of illegal gold mining,” the corporate stated. “There have been several efforts earlier this year to address this dangerous situation.”
The firm stated it met on Monday with Vice President Ronnie Brunswijk about casual mining after which acquired information of the collapse, which it known as “a poignant reminder” of the hazards of casual mining.
Canadian miner Iamgold Corp, Rosebel’s earlier proprietor, dismissed 325 contractors in 2019 after a conflict between unlawful miners and police, and later that yr suffered a blockade.
Zijin faces points with casual and unlawful mining at different operations in South America.
A Reuters investigation confirmed in 2021 that some tunnels on its Buritica concession in Colombia are managed by the Clan del Golfo crime gang, which buys output from casual miners.
Road blockades round its Colombia concession have additionally repeatedly halted output.