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Friday, 5th June 2020
7:45:04pm

At least nine miners died in Zimbabwe following blasts in a shaft north of the capital Harare where they were illegally digging for gold, police said on Tuesday.

"We confirm eight people died on Sunday night at Jumbo Mine in Mazowe while another person died later after another explosive went off while they were underground," police spokesman Paul Nyathi told AFP.

"Their bodies were retrieved and investigations are being undertaken to establish how they got into the mine which was guarded at the entrance.

"One person sustained fractures and was admitted to hospital and we are told there could be more." 

The owners of the mine, Metallon Corporation, confirmed the incident and said none of the victims were company employees.

"Illegal panners invaded the mine and took part in illegal explosive blasting," the company said in a statement.

"Tragically, nine panners lost their lives."

In February, at least 24 illegal miners died and eight were rescued after water flooded two disused shafts in the mining town of Kadoma.

Accidents involving illegal or informal miners are common in Zimbabwe where many use makeshift equipment to earn a living.

The country has valuable platinum, diamond, gold, coal and copper deposits.

-AFP

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