KARONGI – A mining quarry caved in, killing one person and injuring two others in Rwankuba sector, Karongi district, over the weekend, authorities confirmed.
The deceased was identified as Boniface Singenibo, 27, while Vénuste Nsabuwera, 36 and 26-year old Ladislas Yuganeza narrowly escaped death.
The trio was mining cassiterite, a tin oxide mineral when the tragic landside occurred shortly after a heavy down pour last Saturday.
Local authorities have consequently blamed Bay View Group, the investor who acquired the concession of extracting the mineral from a 15,000 hectare piece of land.
“The investor is not doing enough to guarantee the safety of his workers. He has even failed to provide service cards for his employees,” Théophile Safari, the Executive Secretary of Rwankuba sector said.
However, Bill Quam, the country Manager of Bay View Group which acquired the concession in 2005, blamed the incident on lack of cooperation with the local authorities which results into illegal mining.
He argued that his constant call for combined efforts against illegal dealers and promotion of safety for miners has always fallen on deaf ears.
“First of all it’s a tragedy for the bereaved family but it should also teach us to be keen on certain guidelines,” Bill said, citing greed as one of the reasons why miners go mining illegally.
He has called for temporary suspension of mining at this site and requested residents to avoid stealing the mineral with an aim of selling it to illegal dealers.
Bill claims that he loses at least 4 tonnes of the mineral to illegal dealers every month and most of those who die while mining are those who do it illegally most especially at night.
Singenibo becomes the third person to die in this same mining area in less than two years.