A tunnel collapse at an artisanal gold mine in Mali has taken the lives of more than 70 workers, per an AFP report.
The incident occurred on 19 January but was confirmed by a local gold mining group leader on 24 January.
Local media have said 73 bodies have been recovered from the operation in the southwestern town of Kangaba, and that search and recovery efforts have now ceased.
AFP said there were more than 200 workers in the field when the collapse occurred.
Mali’s ministry of mines confirmed the incident but did not offer more details. It offered its condolences to the families and people of Mali.
It called on “communities living near mining sites and gold miners to scrupulously respect safety requirements”, per the report.
While Mali is notoriously poor, it is a top gold mining region. Its production in 2022 contributed 25% to the national budget, 75% of export earnings and 10% of GDP.