Foder (Forest and Rural Development), an NGO based in Cameroon, has blamed the failure of Chinese corporations for the deaths of 43 illegal miners in holes in abandoned mines in the country in the first 10 months of 2017.
According to AFP, Folder said the Chinese companies abandoned open-cast gold mines after profitable seams runs out, without carrying out mine closure and rehabilitation as stipulated by law. When the companies leave, individual gold hunters move in, digging holes into a site that in some cases have already been excavated to a depth of 200 metres (650 feet).
Foder said the problem was worst in eastern Cameroon, where from 2012 to 2014, 250 mines were opened and then abandoned by their operators. Very concerned about the situation, it is campaigning for mining companies to cover over open-cast operations with earth when they pull out.
Nine died last year after the walls of their hole collapsed on top of them, Foder said. In September, a 12-year-old boy drowned in a lake that had formed in an abandoned pit.