More than 80 miners remained trapped under rock and debris after a massive landslip on Friday struck a major mining area near Lhasa in Tibet.

Hopes for rescuing the workers have faded, state media reported, as rescuers had found only one body after more than 36 hours and snowfall on Saturday impeded recovery efforts.

A total of 83 miners, of whom two were Tibetans and the rest reported to be Han Chinese were buried by the landslip.

The site is in Maizhokunggar, a county east of Lhasa where a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corporation runs a polymetal gold and copper mine.

More than 3,000 “troops, armed police and militia member” had been dispatched to the site, the official Xinhua news agency said, with President Xi Jinping ordering “top efforts” to “rescue the buried and prevent secondary disasters”.

A large number of Chinese mining companies have set up subsidiaries to tap the vast mineral resources of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and concerns have been raised about the environmental impact of increased mining on the plateau’s ecosystem.

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