Gold panner dies in mine explosion

By Vumani Mthiyane

A 20-year-old artisanal miner died on Tuesday evening in a mine explosion at Bina Mine in Gwanda, police have confirmed.

Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the accident at Bina Mine.

“I can confirm having received a report of a 20-year-old man who died on the spot after he was hit by an explosive at Bina mine.

“Circumstances are that on the 25th of June 2019 at 20.00 hrs Khulani Mpofu and four others were mining for gold in a mineshaft at Bina mine before knocking off and retiring to sleep.

“However, two hours later the quartet heard an explosion coming from the mineshaft and they went to investigate.

“Upon arrival in the mineshaft, they discovered the body of the now deceased, Ndabezinhle Mpofu that was ripped apart,” said the police spokesperson Chief Insp. Ndebele.

The deceased who is believed to be the younger brother to Mpofu resided at the same homestead in Thandanani village under Chief Sinqobile Mabhena area.

The mine employees then reported the accident to the mine owner, Bigboy Ndlovu who later reported the case to the police.

Police then went to the mine the following day to retrieve the body.

“After getting a report from the mine owner, we then went to the mine on Wednesday morning to retrieve the body that was still lying in the mine shaft,” said Chief Insp. Ndebele adding that the issue is still under investigations by both police and ministry of mines. 

Contacted for comment, the Gwanda provincial mining officer, Khumbulani Mlangeni could not give any details instead he referred this publication to the Harare office.

Mining accidents are rampant in Gwanda especially at disused mineshafts where many artisanal miners have lost their lives in search of the precious mineral.

In 2010 six artisanal miners were buried alive when the famous Vova mine collapsed leaving two dead while the other four were retrieved by other gold panners.

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