KCM announces start of ground caving-in at Nchanga Open Pit

By Staff Writer
Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) wishes to inform all its stakeholders that the sloughing (Caving in of ground) following slope instability within a section of the Nchanga Open Pit (NOP) Cut 2 in Chingola started to occur as predicted, and there is no threat to the safety of employees or people in nearby communities.

The Geo-technical team monitoring the sloughing following a series of multiple tension cracks at the Open pit noticed visible ground failure during the night of 7 July 2020. The team continues to monitor ground movement and KCM will provide further details on the occurrence at a later stage.

“The amount of ground that has caved in will be known only after the area becomes safe for the technical team to conduct physical inspections,” KCM Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sheppard commented on the matter.

“Monitoring will continue using the modern technology installed a few years back to determine the movement of ground at the Open pit, which has helped KCM to predict the sloughing and appropriately advise stakeholders in communities and the nation at large on the matter,” Mr Sheppard added.

The CEO said that Konkola Copper Mines top priority remains the safety of employees and people in communities around the mining area. KCM assures stakeholders that they should not have any safety concerns about the sloughing and continue with their businesses or activities, but avoid attempting to enter in the hazard exclusion zone.

People in nearby communities are advised that there will be no sound of ground fall during the period when the ground continues to fail as it is a gradual process with the ground sliding towards the Open pit.

Historically, global open pit mines have had similar incidents without warning, but the current occurrence at KCM was predicted because of the company’s investment in modern technology on ground movements.

The rerouting of power lines to the Kafue Pump Station in Chingola is due to be completed on Wednesday, 8th July 2020 while the re-routed water pipeline from the Kafue Pump Station to the Nchanga mining complex and eventually to Mulonga Water and Sanitation Company would be completed and become operational on Thursday, 9th July 2020.

Konkola Copper Mines wishes to thank all its stakeholders, especially members of the community for adhering to safety protocols announced to them during engagements conducted before the sloughing started to occur. The company also extends gratitude to the Government authorities for their support on the matter.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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