Gold and Silver

Blockade at Zijin’s Colombia gold mine is lifted

Blockade at Zijin’s Colombia gold mine is lifted
Mining News Pro - Road blockades set up by community members around Zijin Mining’s Colombia gold mine were lifted, a government official said on Sunday, after more than a week of protests which hit the Chinese company’s production.

The blockades were set up around the mine in Buritica municipality on Aug. 12 to demand a rescue mission to find informal miners allegedly trapped in a tunnel.

It was not clear how many miners were presumed to be trapped or killed or what incident may have occurred in the tunnel, and despite several rescue missions, no bodies have been found.

“Mayor Hernando Graciano of the municipality of Buritica informs me that the blockade of the roads to the municipality and to the mine has been lifted,” Luis Fernando Suarez, security secretary of the Antioquia department, said on Twitter.

Production was stopped because of the blockades, the company had said.

A Zijin spokesperson said they had received the news and would later inform when “normal activities will resume.”

Thousands of wildcat miners work in sometimes-deadly conditions in dozens of informal tunnels in Buritica, including many within or adjoining Zijin’s concession.

The activities, controlled by the Clan del Golfo crime gang, are a safety issue for the surrounding community and affect Zijin’s output, a Reuters investigation last year showed.

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