Miners at work in a mine shaft. AFP
Agence France-Presse

Ten illegal miners have died after the mine they were in collapsed in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, an official said on Tuesday.

The collapse occurred on Monday near a concession in Montepuez owned by British mining firm Gemfields.

Fifteen people are believed to have been in the mine when it collapsed, said Ramiro Guizare, the provincial Director of Mineral Resources and Energy.

Guizare added that two people have been rescued. Rescue efforts are still underway, he said.

Mozambique has many illegal miners, known as “garimpeiros,” and Montepuez is rich in rubies.

Gemfields in January agreed to pay 5.8 million pounds (7.7 million dollars) to settle claims brought against the company by 273 Mozambicans.

The families of the deceased said that they were the victims of human rights abuses at one of the company’s ruby mines.

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