10 people were on Monday rescued, after spending two days trapped in a collapsed mine in Nyakabingo, Shyorongi, an official confirmed yesterday.
According to Dr. Michael Biryabarema, the director of the Rwanda Geology and Mines Authority (OGMR), the mine caved in last Saturday while miners were busy clearing a mine shaft for exploration.
“The first group was rescued on Sunday and the last group of three was rescued yesterday (Monday) afternoon,” Biryabarema told The New Times on the phone yesterday.
The wolfram mine is located 18 kilometres out of Kigali. Biryabarema said that a safety awareness campaign in the country’s mines is being emphasized and acknowledged that such accidents should serve as a wake-up call.
He said his institution was busy mobilizing miners against the use of unsafe and traditional mining methods, which were a custom in the past.
In a related incident, three miners were killed over the weekend when a mine wall collapsed, in Rutongo mines, Rulindo district.
“The three who died were mining in a quarry – it was a wall failure.” According to Dr. Biryabarema, Rutongo mineral concession is a big tin mine where government has minority shares.
OGMR is charged with conducting geological surveys, promoting mining technology, establishing mining products and quarries and assisting the government in valuing mining and quarry concessions.
Exports from mining activities generated $48m in 2006, rising to $72m in 2007.