One dead after illegal miners invade Zim diamond mine: report

2017-07-25 14:30
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Harare - One person has died and at least two others have been injured in eastern Zimbabwe after security guards opened fire on a group of illegal miners, a report said.

Around 200 villagers cut their way through a fence and tried to invade the mine’s diamond sorting room armed with machetes and wrenches, said the state-run Herald.

Guards at the mine run by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) fired warning shots, but were forced to fire on the group when it continued advancing, an unnamed source told the paper.

'Fierce attack'

“Upon realising that they were now under fierce attack, the eight security guards started firing towards the advancing illegal panners (miners),” the source said.

Three were injured in the raid that occurred in the early hours of July 18, and one “bled profusely” and died on admission to hospital.

A police spokesperson told the paper that they were still investigating the case.

'Situation under control'

ZCDC Chief Executive Moris Mpofu told the paper: “The case is under investigation and our security guys are working with the police. There is no security threat at the mine and the situation is under control.”

Seven diamond mining firms were recently evicted from Chiadzwa as ZCDC took over operations. Chiadzwa has been a hotbed since 2006, when alluvial diamonds were first reported there. A police and army operation in 2008 cleared the area of illegal diamond diggers, and rights groups said up to 200 illegal miners were killed.

ZCDC recently bought mining equipment from Belarus to start excavating conglomerate diamond deposits in Chiadzwa after alluvial diamonds ran out.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  mining  |  southern africa

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