Sudan Gold Mine Disaster Kills at Least 60 People, Official Says

A gold mine collapse in Sudan’s western region of Darfur killed at least 60 people and left potentially dozens more trapped in a shaft 40 meters (130 feet) deep, a local commissioner said.

Rescue efforts are under way at the informal mine, Haroun Al-Hussein, a local commissioner in the town of Al-Sireaf in the Jebel Amer region of North Darfur state, said today by phone.

Sudan is boosting gold production to offset the loss of three-quarters of its oil ouput when South Sudan seceded in July 2011. The country made $2.2 billion from gold exports in 2012, President Umar al-Bashir told parliament on April 1, and plans to export about 50 metric tons of the metal this year.

Fighting over gold mining rights in the Jebel Amer region this year led to what London-based Amnesty International called Darfur’s “worst instance of violence in recent years.”

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