Artisanal miners working underground in one of Zimbabwe's gold mines.
Artisanal miners working underground in one of Zimbabwe's gold mines.

Up to 38 artisanal miners are feared dead in Zimbabwe after a mine they were working in was flooded.

Gold panners produce more than half the country’s gold production, but at huge personal danger.

The exact number of those missing isn’t known but the state broadcaster says it could be as high as 38.

Reports say the miners were trapped in shafts 30 metres below ground near the central town of Kadoma where there are rich gold deposits.

The flood at the mine was triggered by the collapse of a dam wall following heavy rains.

The death of small-scale miners is an all too frequent occurrence here. Often it’s impossible for rescuers to retrieve bodies from collapsed shafts.

Artisanal miners produce most of Zimbabwe’s gold, but at a huge cost to themselves and the environment.

EWN