The death toll of illegal miners at Harmony Gold’s abandoned Eland shaft mine in South Africa has increased to 76 after more bodies were found on 4 June.

The deaths are thought to be a result of an underground fire on 30 May, which led to fatal gas and smoke inhalation.

Earlier this week, Harmony said 294 illegal miners had been brought to the surface at the Eland shaft. The company plans to bring charges against the miners.

Higher gold prices and lay-offs in other sectors of the industry have led to a rapid increase in illegal mining deaths in South Africa since the beginning of the year.

Mining companies are working closely with the police and justice departments to address this growing problem.