Police officials said yesterday two people had died when a Mondulkiri gold mine collapsed on Saturday, but that neither of them worked for the mining company that owns it.
Provincial police chief Nhem Vanny said two men aged 25 and 30, had died in a Pech Chreada district mine owned by Australia’s Southern Gold.
He said the men were not employees of the company but had wandered on to the company’s land in search of gold.
The company had not begun construction yet and had only begun surveying the land, Vanny said.
“They were not workers of the company. They were just villagers who came illegally to the company area to search for gold,” he said, adding that Southern Gold had been conducting studies in the area for at least two years.
“The place where the people died belongs to the company, but because it is far away in a mountainous area where it is difficult to travel, people risk going there, working illegally on the firm’s land.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]