Three suspected illegal miners who emerged from a shaft in Orkney with a dead body earlier this month are expected to return to court next week to face charges of illegal mining, trespassing and the illegal possession of gold-bearing material.
The accused – aged 35, 37 and 43 – were arrested at the ventilation shaft leading into the No. 6 shaft in Orkney on November 15.
“The accused were arrested after mine security followed up on a tip-off that the trio had surfaced with a corpse which was covered with bags. The dead man has been identified.
“However, circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated,” police spokesperson Colonel Adéle Myburgh said.
They appeared in the Orkney Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were denied bail. Their next appearance will be on November 25.
Meanwhile, two suspects – aged 45 and 36 – are expected to return to the Klerksdorp Magistrate’s Court on November 26 for a formal bail application after they were found in possession of illegal explosives and gold dust.
The pair were arrested on Monday at a house between Klerksdorp and Wolmaransstad.
“The police received information about suspected illegal miners who were seen entering a house. The accused were arrested after being found in possession of explosives, copper cable and gold dust,” Myburgh said in a statement on Thursday.
They appeared in court on Tuesday on charges of possession of explosives, destruction of critical infrastructure, possession of gold, possession of copper and aluminium and possession of gold-bearing material.