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Zimbabwe: Chinese company halts search for trapped miners

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AFP

Zimbabwe

The Chinese mining company operating in Premier estates Zimbabawe where 10 illegal miners were allegedly buried alive last week says it has halted search operations.

The halt Zhong Jin says will run until police produce concrete evidence there were indeed missing persons from the local community.

Ten persons were reportedly buried alive after the firm sealed some pits during a land reclamation exercise

According to police, only two bodies have been recovered from the rescue mission.

Zhong Jin general manager Yancey Feng said they were willing to cooperate with relevant authorities but were halting the mission for now until police complete their investigations and identify the proper location.

“We have halted mission after working for four continuous days. We will cooperate and we are willing to assist the community but only after police completes investigations and identify the proper location". Feng said.

Meanwhile, nearly 30 miners remain unaccounted for after around 40 informal miners got trapped underground in northeastern Zimbabwe last week.

According to Zimbabwe's miners federation, a shaft in a disused gold mine had collapsed.

The disaster occurred late Wednesday in the town of Bindura, around 70 kilometres north of the capital Harare.

Six men have so far emerged alive from the mine though rescue efforts failed to start until Friday after the generator used to drain the 100-metre long mine shaft jammed and another had to be found, according to authorities.

Illegal mining of gold, which poses serious safety risks, is rampant in Zimbabwe and results in deaths of several people every year.

In September, five artisanal miners were trapped underground when a shaft collapsed at Task Gold Mine in Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province.

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