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Mine Exploration Forum

Author 24 dead in Colombia Mine Collapse
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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24 dead in Colombia Mine Collapse
Posted: 14/10/2007 08:05:40
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From the BBC [link]

At least 24 amateur gold prospectors have been killed in a mine collapse in south-west Colombia.

Some 18 people were injured and another 10 estimated to be missing after the accident near the town of Suarez, about 350km (220 miles) from Bogota.

Local residents were mining for gold with few security measures in place.

Rescue efforts have been called off for the night and were hampered by the fact that there was no record of how many people had entered the mine.

Recent torrential rains had weakened the sides of the open cast mine, sparking a landslide of mud and rock on some 50 prospectors.

Cauca provincial Governor Juan Jose Chaux said the search had been suspended as darkness and bad weather had made the mine more unsafe.

A local policeman told AP news agency: "There are still a lot of people to rescue, and we don't know what conditions they're in."

Television pictures showed rescuers with heavy machinery wading through mud in an eight meter (25 feet) deep by 50 meter (160 feet) wide pit.

Mr Chaux said prospectors had entered the pit after rumours there were gold seams despite being warned it was unsafe by the Suarez mayor.

The site is owned by mining company Agromineros.

The BBC's Jeremy McDermott in Colombia says gold deposits abound in the region but few mining companies venture to operate there because warring factions control much of the country's rural parts.

Local residents have taken the opportunity to set up illegal mining operations which respect no safety regulations, according to our correspondent.

In February a gas explosion at a coal mine in north-eastern Colombia killed 32 miners.


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carnkie

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Joined: 07/09/2007
Location: camborne, cornwall

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24 dead in Colombia Mine Collapse
Posted: 14/10/2007 12:25:16
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Tragic tho' this is one can't help thinking of China. In China 80 percent of the electricity demand is fueled by coal-powered plants. In 2005 5,986 coal miners were killed in acidents down the mines and this is liable to increase as dwindling coal reserves drive the mines ever deeper. Sad

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Minegeo

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Joined: 17/06/2008
Location: Ireland

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24 dead in Colombia Mine Collapse
Posted: 22/06/2008 22:59:39
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Long time posting after the event but it may be of interest to know that Colombia produces about 1.5 million ozs per annum of which well over 1 million ounces come from small mines (not amateur as in the article) but licensed small miners. You can still see California-type stamp mills in action all over the place and most gold recovery is by mercury amalgamation. If anybody wants photos let me know. IP: 201.232.227.235
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