Rescuers are working to reach 18 people trapped underground after a collapse at a gold mine in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, state media reported.
A total of 40 people were working at the mine in Yining county, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the border with Kazakhstan when the mine caved in on Saturday afternoon.
Twenty-two miners were brought to the surface but 18 remain trapped.
“A rescue operation is under way to retrieve the remaining miners,” Xinhua news agency said late on Saturday.
Mine safety has improved in recent decades in China, but accidents still occur frequently in an industry where safety instructions are often lax, especially at the most rudimentary sites.
In September last year, 19 miners stranded underground after the collapse of a coal mine in the northwest province of Qinghai were found dead after a long search.
In December 2021, 20 miners were rescued from a flooded coal mine in northern Shanxi province while two others died.
China is the largest producer of gold globally. Last year, the country mined 370 metric tonnes of gold, and has held its top position for more than 10 years.