South America – Illegal mine collapses in Ecuador, several dead

An illegal mine in northern Ecuador collapsed on Wednesday, killing at least three people.

An illegal mine in Ecuador, in 2019 (Image pretext)

AFP

A collapse on Wednesday at an illegal mine in northern Ecuador, on the border with Colombia, left at least three dead and two missing, the National Risk Management Service (SNGR) said.

“For the moment, three people have been recovered alive and three others are said to have died in the incident” which occurred in the coastal province of Esmeraldas, this organization said in a statement, without indicating what type of mine it was . At least two other people are missing in the collapse of several tons of earth, according to the same source.

President Lenin Moreno lamented the accident. “Due to illegal mining, there was a landslide in the area of ​​Los Ajos, ​​San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas. I have asked emergency organizations to take all necessary actions to preserve people’s lives, ”he tweeted. The SNGR said that illegal excavations had caused the collapse of some 40 m3 of earth.

In 2013, a similar accident in a mine in the Andean province of Azua (south) left 11 dead and 18 injured. Ten years earlier, in Nambija, another mining region on the border with Peru, a landslide had submerged a village, causing 300 deaths.

Illegal mining is a serious problem in this oil-dependent country, which is developing five major mining projects, with reserves of 11.1 million ounces of gold, 51.6 million ounces of silver and 9 , 8 million tons of copper, among the main world deposits.

Despite the dissatisfaction of indigenous populations and environmentalists, Ecuador launched industrial-scale mining in 2019 and hopes that the sector’s contribution to GDP will grow from 1.61% in 2018 to 4%. in 2021.

AFP/NXP

Posted today at 01:51

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