Miner killed after illegal mining pit collapses

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A Brazilian miner was killed after the mining pit in which he was working collapsed at Micobie, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) on Friday. The dead man has been identified as Sebastian Faries, 57, of Boa Vista, Brazil.

Reports are the now dead man and others were working in a small mining pit when one of the walls caved in on them.

The Brazilian was reportedly left under the earth for quite some time before he was pulled out and taken in an unconscious state to the Mahdia Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The other men who were in the mining pit when it collapsed, escaped unhurt. An investigation has been launched into the mining industrial accident. Over the past years, a number of persons have lost their lives after the mining pits in which they were working collapsed.

On several occasions, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) found that the owners of the mining camps did not observe simple occupational health and safety practices. On a few instances, the GGMC also confirmed that the mining camp was illegal.

Meanwhile, the Natural Resources Ministry in a release stated that investigations thus far revealed that the miner was a worker connected to a six-inch dredge, which was said to be operating without permission from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

Investigations revealed that the Micobie Village Council granted permission for the operation without informing or consulting with the GGMC prior to doing so.

Personnel from the GGMC, the release added, are presently on the ground conducting preliminary investigations. In light of the tragedy, the Natural Resources Ministry expresses its sorrow and regret at this latest mining fatality and recommits to working with miners, and Amerindian titled communities to make the industry safe, accident free and better regulated.