As many as eight workers have been killed and three others wounded as a result of mine collapse over the past three months in Awarsai gold mine in Baharak district of the north-eastern Takhar province, KabulNow has found.
The gold deposit was discovered around 25 years ago.
The locals have continued to arbitrarily extract the deposit as Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum has failed to officially record it as mining deposit and legalize the extraction on the site.
Abdul Rahman, forced by poverty to gold mining, described the work as very hard and dangerous. “Working at the gold mine requires a strong physical strength and those who do not have it cannot endure,” he clarified on why so many workers have lost their lives while working at the gold deposit.
Khair Mohammad is another miner who has lost two relatives to the gold mining. The lives of those who are working at the gold mine, he says, is at risk at any moment. He said chances for mine collapse were always higher at the gold mine, making it highly possible for the workers to lose their lives at any moment.
“Contrary to its name, the income of gold mining is very few for the workers. It has been frequently the case that they haven’t made any benefit despite making many attempts,” he said, adding that a worker could make a maximum of AFN 10,000 in a month.
Additionally, these mine workers claimed they pay a daily mining tax of AFN 300 for the people associated with the Taliban.