Six people killed in Congo diamond mine cave-in

At least six people were killed when an artisanal diamond mine in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai province caved in, a provincial official said on Thursday, adding that there could be more victims.

Artisanal mines are usually dug by hand, often in dangerous conditions. Fatal accidents are common.

Luc Pongo Mwamba, provincial director for Congo’s artisanal mining agency SAEMAPE, said workers had been tunnelling underground at the mine near the provincial capital Tshikapa when Tuesday’s accident occurred.

“For the moment, SAEMAPE and the Kasai provincial mines ministry acknowledge six fatalities from the landslide that took place in Tshikapa,” Mwamba said.

Miners were still trying to excavate the mine, and the total death toll was not yet certain, he added.

In total, artisanal miners in Congo produced 9.2 million carats of diamonds in 2021, according to mines ministry statistics.

(By Helen Reid; Editing by Edmund Blair)