A local resident alerted the authorities on Monday that some men who had arrived in the town of Yuncheng on December 23 with the intention of accessing the mine, after which contact with them was lost.
After several hours of searching, on Monday afternoon six bodies were found at a depth of 2,700 meters in the abandoned mine, which had been closed in 2018 and to which the victims accessed through holes.
Shortly after, the medical personnel displaced to the place confirmed the absence of vital signs and declared his death, although the cause of the event continues to be investigated.
Some local inhabitants told The Paper local media that the practice of “panning for gold” is common, which is how the use of sodium cyanide and other chemicals is known to dissolve gold in small proportions and separate it from the rock, despite the fact that risk of poisoning that it entails and that has caused numerous victims in mining areas in recent years.
Illegal mines are often poorly ventilated, multiplying the chances of these types of accidents, The Paper noted.
According to CCTV, the area, where the Sushui River is born, has abundant mineral resources such as copper, gold and silver, making illegal mining a common phenomenon despite government efforts to eradicate it.
Precisely last week, the local authorities had held a meeting to study measures against this crime as a result of the flooding of an illegal mine in another town in the same province in which two people died and more than 20 remained locked up for hours.
Shanxi province is one of China’s mining centers: it is the largest coal producer (27% of the total) in the country, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.