Konkola suspends mining operations


KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has suspended its copper production at its Mindolo Mine following the trapping and eventual rescue of 280 miners.

Management at the Mine has suspended operations to ansure that the safety of the miners was guaranteed especially with the severe load shedding the country was experiencing as a result of the power deficit that has hit the region.

KCM  management revealed that the Mindolo Mine was relying on a generator to provide lighting  as rescue teams work ed to  rescue the 280 miners that were trapped underground following a power surge.

The 280 miners were yesterday pulled to the surface and united with their families with Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe saying that Government has relieved that no life had been lost.

Mr Kabwe said with the suspension of operations at the mine, Government was in consultations with the Copperbelt Energy Corperation (CEC) and Zesco on the safety of the miners before operations could resume. The Miners  were  trapped underground at Mopani Copper Mine’s Mindolo operation following a fire at the mine’s power station.

According to information obtained on the ground, the fire  was  result  of an explosion in a transformer when poower was restored after load shedding. The voltage was apparently too high resulting in the mulfunction.  And Mineworkers Union of Zambia President Wisdom Ngwira confirmed that the miners were trapped after their was a power surge which was as a result of fire at the mining power plant. Mr. Ngwira explained that the transformer at the Mopani Copper Mine went to flames after power was restored at the mine.

Hard work from a combined team of fire officers from Mopani, KCM, CEC and Kitwe City Council paid off at 02:30 when the last miners were safely evacuated from underground.

Efforts to get a Comment form Copperbelt Energy Corporation failed by broadcast time.