An open-pit gold mine in remote southern Guyana has collapsed and buried up to 10 miners in debris.

Police spokesman Ivelaw Whittaker says authorities are digging through the mud in an attempt to rescue the men but it appears unlikely any survived. Seven miners were injured and treated at a hospital in the nearest town.

The collapse occurred Sunday in the densely forested Potaro-Siparuni Region near the border with Brazil. The region has many informal, open-pit gold mines run by small operators.

Miners Association President Patrick Harding said recent heavy rains have made the work especially treacherous. He said his organization has been working to persuade operators to provide adequate support for the mud walls but said many disregard those precautions.