Sudanese officials announced that more than thirty miners were killed in the collapse of a primitive gold mine, while eight others are still missing.
The collapse occurred near the town of Al-Nuhud in West Kordofan State, southwest of the capital, Khartoum.
“31 miners were killed due to the collapse of a primitive mine,” Khaled El-Dahwa, head of the state-run Mineral Resources Company in West Kordofan, told AFP, adding that one person survived and eight others were missing.
Another company official said that four miners were killed in the same mine, last January.
He added: “The authorities at that time closed the mine and imposed security, but they left the mine two months ago.”
Primitive gold mining is a dangerous profession in Sudan, largely due to dilapidated infrastructure.
The industry flourished about a decade ago in various parts of the country, as people dig the ground using mechanical excavators in the hope of extracting the precious metal.
About two million artisanal miners produce 80 percent of the country’s gold production, which is about 80 tons annually, according to official figures.
Sudan, one of the world’s poorest countries, has suffered from hyperinflation and embarked on strict economic reforms, including cutting energy subsidies and launching an orderly currency float.
The country is also experiencing political turmoil following the coup led by the army chief, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, last October.