Entrance to one of
many artisanal mines
in the Central African
Bangui, Central African Republic — 27 June 2013 – A gold-mining pit has collapsed in the Central African Republic, killing at least 40 small-scale miners, according to an announcement in the capital by the presidency.

Bloomberg News quotes President Michel Djotodia’s office as saying in a statement read on state radio  that an unspecified number of people were injured in the accident, which followed heavy rains. “The death toll may rise further,” it said.

“The president extends his condolences to the victims’ families,” the presidency added, announcing that three days of mourning would begin immediately.

Most gold production in the Central African Republic, which is about the size of Texas, is artisanal, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The country produced 53kg of the metal in 2011, according to the agency’s website.

The country is the world’s 11th biggest producer of rough diamonds by volume, according to the USGS.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.