KALUMBILA Minerals Limited’s Sentinel plant yesterday caught fire which was caused by a failure to observe the stipulated site hot works procedure.
And Government says it is deeply concerned about the continued occurrence of accidents in the mining industry. Kalumbila Minerals Limited public relations coordinator Mirriam Harmon said in a statement that the Sentinel plant which experienced the fire has been closed since Monday this week due to power shortages from ZESCO.
Ms Harmon dispelled rumours on social media which circulated the picture of the Sentinel mine site engulfed in smoke as if the mine was burning. Ms Harmon said the minor fire was quickly extinguished and that there were no injuries. She said a welder was installing a new steel pipe on top of existing tanks and that it was the welding works ignited a small rubber part in the tanks which created a lot of smoke.
“The fire was quickly contained and extinguished. No injuries were sustained. Some minor damage to rubber lining in the tank will require minor repairs, which are not expected to impact on the plant operations when power from ZESCO returns,” Ms Harmon said.
She said a training programme for the national workforce, in particular artisan welders, was ongoing and cautioned all employees to obey the site works procedures, which set the baseline rules for safety and prevention of property damage. And Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma has called on the mine operators to seek innovative ways to mitigate the risks that workers were faced with in their operations.
“Companies must ensure that all parties connected to their operations and their agents are adequately covered and adhere to regulatory standards and procedures,” he said.