The collapse of an illegal gold mine in Chad has potentially killed thirty illegal miners.
BBC reported that the mine is located in the Tibesti region known as the ‘wild west’ of Africa due to lack of government controls on mining practices.
“People (Government) just aren’t game to go into the region because of the fear of violence and death,” a former Australian exploration geologist who worked in the region told AMSJ.
The Tibesti region is known for its’ illegal mining activities following the discovery of gold several years ago. Labour in the region is fuelled from Sudanese refugees seeking to build enough wealth to help them escape poverty to Europe.
Defence Minister Mahamat Abali Salah told AFP news agency on Wednesday that the mine caved in early on Tuesday at Kouri Bougoudi, a zone beset by illegal mining near the Libyan border.
There there were “many deaths, for sure,” Salah said. “A mine collapsed. I cannot say exactly how many fatalities there are but there are many people working in these mines, so there must be many deaths, for sure,” Salah told AFP by telephone.
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An army officer who requested anonymity spoke of “around 30 deaths”, basing the figure on witness accounts with the army yet to arrive on the scene which is in a remote small town.
A local lawmaker spoke for his part of “a dozen deaths,” basing his tally on what witnesses had related to him.
“I cannot give you an exact tally as we rushed troops to the scene this morning,” said Salah, saying he expected a report during the morning.
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