A cave-in at a mine in Nicaragua has left at least one person dead and at least 20 trapped, state-run media reported.

The accident happened in the village of El Comal in northwest Nicaragua, local ruling party official Martha Lagos told the web site 19 Digital.

Teams are trying to dig their way down to the trapped miners, she said.

"We have identified 20 comrades who are alive," adding there were 28 miners working in the shaft 800m underground when the cave-in happened Thursday.

Two miners have managed to dig their way out.

"You can hear that there are people are alive because we heard voices," said Ms Lagos.

The mouth of the mine caved in because of a landslide triggered by heavy rain.

Desperate relatives of the miners initially tried to dig to reach them but the land was too unstable, reports said.

The collapse happened yesterday morning but word of it emerged only in the evening because the site is remote, Ms Lagos said.

The Bonanza project is operated by Nicaraguan firm Hemco.

It is owned by Colombian company Mineros SA.

The project, which began in 1995, produces around 37,300 troy ounces of gold a year, according to Hemco's website.