AT least three illegal diamond panners are confirmed dead after they were swept into a slime dam adjacent to where they were illegally mining in Chiadzwa.
There was speculation that 15 people had died, but police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she could only confirm three deaths.
Sources said by 4pm yesterday, some bodies had reportedly been retrieved from a shaft at Eden Garden owned by Diamond Mining Concession in Chiadzwa. “They were panning very close to a slime dam on the edge of a mountain. There is a lot of moisture and the panners were trapped when huge boulders rolled from the mountain,” a diamond mine official, said. “They were about 15 panners and they were trapped by ore. People were waiting for excavators to retrieve the bodies, but they only came in the afternoon. They started retrieving bodies from the slime dam near where they were mining.”