Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 June 2009 – At least eight Zambian illegal miners have been killed in the collapse of the disused Nkana West mine dump in the northern Copperbelt province of the Southern African country.
Reporting the accident here, ZNBC state radio quoted a spokesman for Chambishi Metals plc – the owners of the property – as saying that eight bodies had been recovered, and that it was not known if more miners had been trapped in the collapse.
Illegal mining is widespread in Zambia – Africa’s top copper producer – where illegal miners try to reclaim copper waste from abandoned dump sites.
Last week in South Africa at least 82 illegal miners were killed in an underground fire at a disused Harmony mine in the Free State. The miners died at Eland shaft near the town of Welkom, in a part of the mine that runs to depths of up to 1.4 km.
Subsequently Harmony – the third-largest gold producer in South Africa –suspended 122 workers on suspicion of helping miners at a disused mine.