Zambia suspends operations at Vedanta copper mine after accident

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Zambia suspended operations at an underground mine owned by a unit of Vedanta Resources Plc following an accident.

About seven miners were injured, one of them seriously, the deputy minister of mines said on Tuesday.

The accident occurred when a cage used to hoist copper ore from underground tripped last Friday, Konkola Copper Mines said in a statement.

Deputy mines minister Richard Musukwa told Reuters the government halted ore hoisting operations at the Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP) following the incident.

“The mine safety department has with immediate effect suspended normal hoisting activities at shaft number 4 pending detailed investigations and thorough risk assessment,” he said.

“The company also needs to replace the hoisting ropes and clear the spillage that happened as a result of the accident.”

KDMP is aiming to expand the production of copper ore at Konkola Mine from 2 million tonnes per annum to 7.5 million tonnes by accessing a rich ore body lower down, Konkola says on its web site.

The project involves the sinking of a new mine shaft to the depth of about 1,500 metres, it said.