Mine collapse kills 28 in north Afghanistan

A coal mine in a remote area of Samangan province of Afghanistan collapsed on Saturday after a gas explosion, killing 28 miners.

No miners remain trapped according to officials and 100 miners were taken to hospital with minor injuries and quickly discharged.

"Today 24 bodies have been recovered and four that are still under the rubble have been pronounced dead," Mohammad Sediq Azizi, Samangan's provincial spokesman, told AFP.

It was reported in April that Afghanistan could be sitting on mineral deposits worth $1 trillion according to US estimates.

The deposits are mainly copper but also include gold, iron ore, uranium and precious stones, such as emeralds.

It could be up to 10 years before new mine operations are established.

Current mining revenue in the country is estimated at $146 million annually. By 2024, the finance minister estimates mining will contribute $4 billion to the government and $20 billion to the overall economy.