| BONANZA, Nicaragua
BONANZA, Nicaragua Aug 29 Rescue workers freed
20 informal miners who were trapped in a gold mine after a
landslide in northern Nicaragua, government spokeswoman Rosario
Murillo said on Friday.
The spokeswoman had said on Thursday that some 29 miners
were trapped, and two of them had been rescued the same day. The
whereabouts of the remaining miners was not immediately clear.
Murillo told local radio on Friday that rescue efforts would
continue into the night.
Julio Quintero, head of Nicaraguan miner Hemco, a unit of
Colombia's Mineros SA, said the mine in the Bonanza
project some 260 miles (420 km) northeast of Managua, was closed
about four years ago after being deemed unsafe.
Nonetheless, artisanal miners continued to work there
against the company's orders, and Quintero said Hemco had
continued to buy minerals from them until last week, when it
decided it could not be sure where the product came from.
Artisanal mining is legal in Nicaragua, the poorest country
in Latin America, where it is used as a way for more people to
profit from the industry.
The mine had been severely affected by seasonal rains in the
past, the company added, with another landslide two months ago
killing two miners.
The Bonanza project, which began in 1995, produces around
37,300 troy ounces of gold a year, according to Hemco's website.
(Additional reporting by Leslie Nicolas Lacayo; writing by
Alexandra Alper; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)