Redwing Mine Tragedy: Government orders suspension of operations, rescue efforts ongoing

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By Darlington Gatsi

GOVERNMENT has ordered the suspension of mining operations at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga following the collapse of a shaft Thursday due to suspected earth tremors.

Redwing Mine collapsed trapping at least 15 artisanal miners with rescue operations now underway after earlier efforts were hampered due to unstable ground.

In a statement acting Local Government Minister July Moyo ordered for the halting of mining operations at the mine.

“Government would like to assure the nation and anxious families of the miners, in particular that search and rescue operations will continue into the coming days. In the meantime, Government will render support to these families during this difficult time. For the avoidance of doubt and contrary to some unsubstantiated reports circulating on social media platforms, the trapped miners are employees of Metallon Gold.

“As the rescue efforts are underway, the Honourable Minister of Mines and Mining Development has since directed Metallon Gold to suspend operations at the mine. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we call upon all miners to heed His Excellency, the President, Cde Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa’s call for responsible mining in order to lessen the occurrence of such accidents and loss of precious life,” said Moyo.

The Redwing Mine disaster is the latest incident in recent months after the Bayhorse mine collapse in Chegutu in October last year.

Driven by economic hardship and attracted by potential riches, informal miners have flocked to Redwing, scraping a living in the mine.

Government has since activated the emergency response system at Redwing Mine.

Added Moyo: “In responding to this unfortunate accident, Government has immediately activated Civil Protection structures to deal with the critical matter of search and rescue at the mine. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is leading a team of experts, including from Metallon Gold and Freda Rebecca Gold Mine of Bindura.”