Three miners have died at Karebe mine in Chemase Nandi County after an explosion caused a wall in the mine was collapsed.
The three were working underground when a wall built to prevent the mine against flooding and illegal incursion was blasted illegally by illegal miners suspected to be working for a rival company.
In a statement, Karebe Gold Mining Limited indicated that the deceased were working at the site when the attack happened at around 4.00pm on Monday.
“Our staff were instantly killed when a wall built to prevent the mine against flooding and illegal incursion was blasted illegally by illegal miners,” the statement read
The company claimed wrangles with a rival mine could have led to the attack accusing relevant authorities of laxity to end mining activities within the disputed area.
“Our sorrow is compounded by deep frustration that our calls to address the danger posed by illegal miners operating in our license area have not been answered by the relevant authorities, despite court orders prohibiting mining activities within the disputed area.”
“We call on the authorities to bring the persons responsible for this brutal crime – including those who have ignored our warnings for so long – to justice.”
Started in 2009 and with 380 local employees, Karebe is Kenya’s largest commercial gold mining company. To date, it has exported over $50m (Sh5bn) worth of gold and paid over Sh1.6bn in taxes, according to CEO David May.
The company has however suffered setbacks in the last few years due to a land dispute between Karebe and Nandi/Chemase Mining Company with the area of interest being the Nandi Escarpment which has a huge deposit of gold.