Miners and rescue workers hold a man (C) covered in mud
after he was rescued from the gold mine which was blocked
by a landslide in Bonanzas town. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Rescue workers have freed 22 miners who were trapped in a
gold mine after a landslide in northern Nicaragua, and the
government has vowed to continue search efforts for several
workers that remained stuck underground.
Some 29 miners were trapped on Thursday (local time) after
heavy rains provoked a landslide at the mine in the Bonanza
project, about 420km northeast of Managua, which was closed
about four years ago after being deemed unsafe.
Rescue teams will continue search efforts, after freeing two
miners on Thursday and another 20 on Friday, according to
Rosario Murillo Ortega, government spokesman and wife of
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
"We are monitoring the situation, following up on all efforts
to find the five or seven companions," Murillo said.
Artisanal mining is legal in Nicaragua, the poorest country
in Latin America, where it is used as a way for more people
to profit from the industry.
Bonanza project mine had been severely affected by seasonal
rains in the past, with another landslide two months ago
killing two miners, according to Mineros S.A., the Colombian
parent company of Nicaraguan miner Hemco, which operates the
Informal miners continued to work at the mine against the
company's orders, according to Julio Quintero, head of Hemco.
Quintero said Hemco had continued to buy minerals from them
until last week, when it decided it could not be sure where
the product came from.
The Bonanza project, which began in 1995, produces around
37,300 troy ounces of gold a year, according to Hemco's