MAC: Mines and Communities

Pit mine collapse kills 6, injures 3 and 4 missing-Burundi

Published by MAC on 2010-10-04
Source: All Headline News (2010-10-24)

Burundi Tin Mine Collapse Kills 6, Injures 3

By Linda Young

All Headline News (AHN)

24 September 2010

Bujumbura, Burundi - A pit mine collapse left six miners dead, three injured and four missing in Burundi.

The men were illegally mining cassiterite, a tin ore, at a pit mine in Kayanza province about 75 miles north of the capital.

All those killed, injured or missing were local villagers working the mine, authorities say. About 15 people were digging in the open pit mine when the walls collapsed. Recent heavy rains reportedly weakened the walls.

Cassiterite is a major ingredient in tin. The area also has colombo-tantalite ore, or coltan, used in the manufacturing of cell phones. Although Burundi has rich mineral deposits, there are few official mines. The miners were using hoes and plows.

Burundi is a very poor nation that only recently emerged from 12 years of civil war. According to the CIA World Factbook, about 93.6 percent of the people earn their living from agriculture and 68 percent of the population is below the poverty line.

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