Thursday, 19 April 2018

Colombian gold miners trapped by collapse at Marmato mine.

Sixteen gold miners were trapped by a roof collapse at the entrance to the San Pedro Mine in the 100 Peso Sector of Marmato in Caldas Department on Wednesday 18 April 2018. The miners were trapped between 15 and 20 m below the ground, but were not thought to have been in any immediate danger as ventilation to the mine was maintained (other the immediate danger of being crushed by falling rocks, the biggest risk to miners trapped in collapsed mines is running out of oxygen). Fourteen of the miners have now been released, with rescue teams in contact with the remaining two, who are said to be unhurt.

Rescued miners emerging from the San Pedro Mine in Marmato following the 18 April 2018 collapse. La Patria.

The town of Marmato has a long tradition of gold mining, and many small independently run gold mines, which have historically attracted miners from as far away as Cornwall in the UK. Since 2007 the town has been in dispute with the central government of Colombia, which has backed a plan to give the entire area to Gran Colombia Gold, which planned to strip mine the whole area, removing the town in the process. This plan was dropped in 2017, with Gran Colombia still retaining control of the area, but now planning to concentrate on deep-pit mining.

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