At least eight people have died, and several more are missing, following a tunnel collapse at a gold mine in the Kodjoulén District of Guinea on Saturday 1 February 2020. The incident happened at Norassoba, roughly 35 km from the city of Siguiri. The incident happened when the supports at the entrance to a tunnel dug by artisanal miners into the side of a hill collapsed, trapping the mines inside. Because this operation was clandestine in nature, with the mining taking place in an area where mining rights had been awarded to a foreign mining company, there is no clear record of how many people were working in the mine. At the time of writing eight bodies have been recovered, of which seven have been identified; these are Alhassane Diawara (45), Djogo Doumbouya (45), Fodé Kéita (18), Sidiki Diawara (20), Sidiki Diawara (17), Mamadi Traoré (30), and Mamadi Traoré (25).
The approximate location of the 1 February 2020 Norassoba mine collapse. Google Maps.
Guinea is one of Africa's poorest nations, and like may other countries has granted concessions to mining companies in areas where small-scale artisanal mining has traditionally helped to supplement the incomes of subsistence farmers. However little of the money from such projects tends to reach local communities, which often leads to ill feeling and attempts to continue mining clandestinely, often at night or under other unfavourable conditions, which can put the miners at greater risk.
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