Unregulated Gold Mine Collapses In Mali, Kills Over 70: REPORT

(Photo by JOHN WESSELS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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A Malian government official claimed that one of their unregulated gold mines collapsed killing over 70 people Friday.

It is not clear what precisely caused the incident nor has Mali’s Ministry of Mines given a precise death toll, The Associated Press (AP) reported. According to a spokesman for the miners, there was a noise and the shaking of the earth associated with the incident at the mine, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“It started with a noise. The earth started to shake. There were over 200 gold miners in the field. The search is over now. We’ve found 73 bodies,” Oumar Sidibe, an official representative for the miners, told the AFP. (RELATED: Illegal Mining Explosion Utterly Flattens Multiple Buildings, Injuring Dozens)

Mali is known for unregulated mines that tend to ignore safety standards in remote areas, the outlet noted. The Malian government reportedly cited this behavior as the cause of this particular tragedy.

“The state must bring order to this artisanal [informal] mining sector to avoid these kinds of accidents in the future,” Karim Berthé, a senior official at the government’s National Geology and Mining Directorate, told The AP. Mali’s Ministry of Mines similarly said they “deeply regretted” the incident and urged mines to “comply with safety requirements,” The AP reported.

Mali is among the world’s poorest countries and one of Africa’s leading gold exporters, the outlet noted.

Mali is estimated to be either the fourth or third largest African gold producer according to a 2022 commercial guide by the International Trade Commission. Gold constituted 25% of Mali’s national budget, 75% of its export earnings and about 10% of its GDP in March 2023, according to the previous Malian Minister of Mines, AFP reported.

The government offered its “deepest condolences to the grieving families and to the Malian people” over this tragedy, Firstpost reported.