By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Mines and Minerals Development Minister Ricard Musukwa says that the impending caving in of the ground at Nchanga open pit cut 2 is a matter of Government concerned.
Mr Musukwa said government has been following keenly the events around the impending caving in of the slough at Konkola Copper Mine.
Speaking at a media briefing in Chingola yesterday, the Minister said that management at KCM has assured government that the safety of employees and people in communities around cut 2 area will not be impacted negatively by the impending slough.
He said that he has been receiving daily updates on the matter and got the comfort from what management at KCM has put in place to manage the predicted occurrence.
He said government priority is to ensure there is no harm to employees and people in communities.
“We are also happy with managements prompt response to ensure water pipes bringing water to the Nchanga smelter from the Kafue pump station and the lines feeding power to the water station are being rerouted to avert any water disruptions in communities and KCM operations at the smelter,” he said.
Mr Musukwa said that yesterday’s ’s update shows that the deformation rate of the unusable zone was slightly increased.
He said that KCM management has also confirmed that the sloughing incident within the hazard exclusion zone remains imminent.
Mr Musukwa said that the employees and the people in the community should remain calm and continue observing safety measures as advised.
He said KCM management has assured that houses in Nchanga north are built on solid compete base rock and no risk will come to the integrity of any structure.
Mr Musukwa said that Government will render the necessary support to KCM and the people in which every way it may be required.
And KCM Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sheppard in his briefing told the Minister that KCM has continued monitoring the slough.
Mr Sheppard said that the deformation was at 1.9 meters as of yesterday in the morning.
He said that KCM continue to put the safety of the people in the communities and it employees first and can assure government that none will be affected.