Guyana labor ministry investigates death at Zijin gold mine

(Reuters) – Guyana’s labor ministry on Monday said it was investigating the death of a truck operator earlier this month at the country’s north-western Aurora Gold Mines, operated by China’s Zijin.

The ministry said the death had resulted from a collision between two truck operators from a Chinese state-owned engineering company at the mine on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Labor Minister Joseph Hamilton in a statement expressed his concern about workplace fatalities and encouraged workers and employers to ensure a safe working environment.

The incident happened days before an overhang collapsed at concession belonging to a Zijin subsidiary in nearby Suriname, causing the deaths of 15 informal gold miners, according to Surinamese authorities, and prompting two days of national mourning.

The subsidiary, Rosebel Gold Mines, said at the time it regretted the deaths and had unsuccessfully tried to evict the informal miners.

Elsewhere in South America, a 2021 Reuters investigation showed that some tunnels in Zijin’s Buritica concession in Colombia are controlled by the Clan del Golfo crime gang, which buys output from informal miners working there.

(Reporting by Sarah Morland)