Four killed and 94 injured in Colombia mine blast

27 April 2014 (Last Updated April 27th, 2014 18:30)

A blast in El Platanal gold mine in Buricita, Colombia, has killed four miners and injured 94 others with authorities suspending mining activities in Buritica district.

A blast in El Platanal gold mine in Buricita, Colombia, has killed four miners and injured 94 others with authorities suspending mining activities in Buritica district.

The incident happened at 6pm local time on April 25 at a small scale underground mine operated by artisanal miners, caused by industrial material known as 'crazy dust', which generates highly toxic gases.

The accident occurred at artisanal mine located in Continental Gold's concession licenses area spreading 58,733ha in north of the Veta Sur vein system.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, and the company pledges continued support to the families, government and local authorities."

But the company has denied that the operation is related to Continental and its operations.

Following the incident, Continental said it sent its security and rescue brigades to provide support to local authorities.

The cause of the blast is not yet clear and is being investigated by Colombian Government authorities.

Continental Gold CEO Ari Sussman said although the vast majority of artisanal mines at Buriticá have been closed down by the Colombian Government over the past few months, the process has not yet concluded.

"It is unfortunate that this accident took place at one of only two main artisanal mines still operating at Buriticá," Sussman said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, and the company pledges continued support to the families, government and local authorities.

"This tragedy serves to reinforce our plans to execute sub-contracts of formalisation with certain small-scale miners at Buriticá, providing them with technical and management assistance for the implementation of safety standards and procedures, and we shall redouble our efforts in this regard."

Continental also confirmed that all its underground development, diamond drilling and operations at the Yaraguá mine are operating normally without any interruption.

With more than 40 years' experience in exploration and mining, Continental Gold has a portfolio of 100%-owned gold project in Colombia.

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