The collapse of an informal gold mine in the western part of Guinea has killed at least 18 people, reported Reuters citing a government spokesman.

This landslide occurred earlier this week at the gold mine in Gaoual, approximately 386km from the capital city, Conakry.

Guinea Government spokesman Ousmane Gaoual Diallo told reporters: “For the moment, 18 bodies have been extracted and we are not finished yet. Rescue operations continue.”

In recent months, miners have flocked for gold at the mine despite its closure.

Kounsitel mayor Mamadou Chérif Diallo was cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP) as saying: “People went to work clandestinely on the site. It was in their manoeuvres that the mine collapsed.

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By GlobalData

“The provisional toll reports ten dead and several injured. The search is continuing. We do not know how many people there were.”

In May last year, a similar incident at an artisanal gold mine in north-eastern Guinea resulted in the death of at least 15 miners.

The mine is situated near the village of Tatakourou, approximately 40km from Siguiri.

Last year, Moroccan mining company Managem Group started production from the Tri-K gold mine in Guinea.

Located 90km north-east of Kankan, the mine is expected to produce 130,000oz of gold a year. It has an operational life of 12 years, with estimated reserves of 1.5Moz.