More illegal miners bust

More than 200 illegal miners have been nabbed by police in Mpumalanga and more arrests are expected, police said.

More than 200 illegal miners have been nabbed by police in Mpumalanga and more arrests are expected, police said.

Police spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi said yesterday that operations running over the last two weeks had now seen over 200 illegal miners arrested at Fairview mine in Barberton.

About 38 of those arrested at the gold mine were teenagers between the ages of 14 to 17.

"The operation is continuing.

"It is suspected that more people are hiding under there and mining security is busy looking for them."

Legal miners raised the alert on their illegal counterparts after reporting that "there are people they don't know underground".

Those arrested are charged with trespassing. Those found coming out of the mine with gold are charged with possession of illegal gold.

Hlathi said illegal miners spent long periods underground - up to three months. During this time they did not come up but instead brought their own food and water to sustain them throughout this period.

Earlier this year, 19 bodies of illegal miners were retrieved at Fairview mine. - Sapa

X