A toxic leak from an Angolan diamond mine has reportedly killed 12 people after polluting rivers hundreds of miles from the site.

This comes via Eve Bazaiba, an environmental minister for the Democratic Republic of Congo, who also claimed that around 4,500 people had been left ill after the incident.

The leak was of waste sediment from the mining process that contains dangerous levels of heavy metals. It was reported at the time that the rivers ran red and countless fish died.

Advertisement

It came from the Catoca diamond mine which is jointly owned by the Angolan state diamond company Endiama’s Catoca Mining Company and Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa.

The BBC reported that Bazaiba claimed the Democratic Republic of Congo would be suing for an unspecified amount after the Angolan mine polluted its rivers.

The BBC quoted the minister as saying that there were “tonnes of dead fish floating on the river” and that people’s “first reflex was to take the fish”.