Today Online reports the bodies of 10 illegal miners were pulled from a collapsed tunnel at a disused diamond mine in South Africa's Northern Cape province De Beers announced late on Saturday.
De Beers and caretaker Namaqualand Mines has been on site since Tuesday and said the artisinal miners were working on state land. Eleven escaped the collapse and one person was rescued and taken to hospital.
On Thursday the country's mines ministry said it has set up a task team to seal access points at the country's many gold and platinum mines to stem a resurgence in illegal mining which four years ago saw as much as $600 million in mining proceeds bypass official channels.
De Beers announced last year it is exiting the region on the South African west coast where it has mined for the past 90 years, but has projects in place to create 5,000 non-mining over the next five years in the picturesque area.
Projects include a wind farm, abalone culturing for export to China where it is a highly prized delicacy, a prison warden training facility and a joint venture with sister company Anglogold for undersea gold mining.
The company has come under fire over plans to sell the properties including two towns to a much smaller outfit, Trans Hex, that will have to take responsibility for rehabilitation over a 970 square km area pockmarked by open pits.