The Songxian County government sent rescuers to a deserted mine on Saturday after receiving tips from the public about the mining operation.
"Three died and six others are still in the hospital," a report said.
According to a police investigation, the miners were local farmers who used chemicals containing sodium cyanide to recover gold from the deserted mine.
Local farmers were hoping to separate remnants of gold from the rock with the use of chemicals such as sodium cyanide. They were then poisoned by the gasses released.

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