Seven miners have died at Golden Valley mine in Kadoma, Zimbabwe, when a hoist cable snapped on a lift plunging it into a pool of water, a union official has said.

Associated Mineworkers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Tinago Ruzive confirmed that seven miners died and 11 survived the accident that ocurred on Monday, as the workers were reporting for the night shift.

"Their hoist cage plunged about 80m (262ft) into a pool of water," Ruzive said.

"Their hoist cage plunged about 80m into a pool of water."

According to local media reports, the workers drowned in a flooded shaft hundreds of metres below the surface.

Ruzive said that the company is yet to establish whether this accident is due to human error or an equipment fault.

"Operations at the mine have been suspended," Ruzive added.

Located 160km west of the Zimbabwe capital Harare, the Golden Valley is a small gold mine and does not have a history of accidents.

According to the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe data, 35 people died in mining accidents in the country in 2013 due to low safety standards, especially at small mines.

Zimbabwe is a producer of gold, diamonds, platinum and iron ore.