No fewer than five persons have died after an illegal gold mine collapsed in southern Niger, a mayor said on Tuesday.
Dan-Issa mayor Adamou Gueraou disclosed that the accident occurred on Monday in the Maradi region near the border with Nigeria, where 18 miners died late last year
It happened in“one of the mines where all clandestine mining was banned in November after a fatal accident,” he said.
Thousands of miners, many of them Nigerians, converged on the Garin-Liman district after gold was discovered there last August.
The authorities banned digging after the fatal collapse in November and placed the site under surveillance.
“Despite the closure and the security measures, the miners come back to dig, even at night,” said Gueraou.
Illegal gold mining is a major activity in an impoverished landlocked state. Security precautions are often negligible and collapse frequently.
The country has only one industrial-scale legal mine, located at Samira in the western region of Tillaberi.