A collapse of a makeshift gold mine near Bondo, Lower Uele province, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has killed at least 12 miners.

Approximately ten of the 18 people present at the mine were killed immediately as a result of a landslide that occurred on 22 May, UN radio Okapi reported.

While other two people died after being taken to hospital, six people were injured.

The incident brings the total number of deaths in the DRC due to mine accidents to 50 this year, Okapi reported citing local Radio Tele Uele (RTU).

According to the Okapi report: “17 people entered a gold shaft in a quarry that was closed by mine officials since last January.”

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RTU said that a similar accident was reported, also on 22 May, around 55km from Bondo.

Since January, around 20 landslides have been reported in the Bondo area, RTU said.

In September 2020, an artisanal gold mine collapsed in the Sud-Kivu Province (South Kivu Province) in DRC, killing more than 50 people.

The incident took place near Kamituga in the eastern part of the Central African country, at the ‘Detroit’ mine site.

Meanwhile, recently, reports emerged that Glencore plans to restart operations at the Mutanda mine in DRC next year.

Located in the Katanga province, the large-scale copper and cobalt mine also produces copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide.

In 2019, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg decided to suspend operations at the mine as a result of increased costs, decreased cobalt prices and higher taxes.