6 Killed In Zimbabwe Gold Mine Collapse

(Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Six miners lost their lives while 15 others remain trapped underground following the collapse of a gold mine in Zimbabwe, CBS News reported Saturday.

The incident occurred at the Beyhose mine, located in the gold-rich town of Chegutu, approximately 60 miles west of the African nation’s capital, Harare.  Deputy mines minister Polite Kambamura confirmed 34 miners were inside the mine during the collapse on Friday, per the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. 13 managed to escape safely, according to CBS News.

Rescue operations were actively underway as of Saturday to locate and save the 15 trapped miners. (RELATED: Video Shows Miners Escaping From Collapsed Congolese Gold Mine)

Mine collapses, especially involving artisanal miners, are widespread in Zimbabwe, a southern African country abundant in gold, coal, diamonds and other valuable minerals. The country, home to 15 million residents, boasts the largest lithium reserves in Africa, a mineral highly sought after for its application in electric car batteries.

Zimbabwe’s mineral-rich areas, including national parks, abandoned mines, rivers and towns, often see an influx of individuals — including minors — who hope to discover valuable deposits. Such unregulated ventures often result in deaths and injuries.

Mining is one of the last remaining lucrative economic activities in a nation which has faced industry shutdowns, a currency crisis and soaring unemployment over recent years, the outlet noted.