Vedanta’s Zambia copper unit warns part of Nchanga open-pit mine about to collapse

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a unit of diversified miner Vedanta Resources, has closed part of its open-pit mine as a portion of the pit is about to collapse, the chief executive officer said late on Thursday.

KCM predicted that part of the Nchanga Open Pit in Chingola in Zambia’s Copperbelt area will cave in “anytime” in the next five days after geo-technical assessments detected some slope instability.

The slough – or caving in of the ground – manifested so far through tension cracks opening up is likely to stretch approximately 350 metres (0.2 mile) and the estimated volume of the area involved is 8 million cubic metres, CEO Christopher Sheppard said in a statement.

Production was continuing elsewhere except for the at-risk areas which have been shut, a KCM spokesman said.

KCM has implemented measures to protect communities around the mining area and employees from the impact of the slough, Sheppard said.

“I must state in no uncertain terms that our priority is to ensure the safety of people first, and also make sure that KCM, public and private property are safe-guarded.”

The mine has marked out a 90-metre wide hazard exclusion zone in which the potential collapse is expected to occur. It is “at least” 60 metres away from nearby communities, he said.

Apart from the Nchanga open pit, KCM also operates the Nchanga and Konkola underground mines, concentrators, a smelter, a tailings leach plant, and a refinery.

Partner Content

Standard Chartered and Airtel Africa form a partnership to drive financial inclusion across Africa

Dubai, United Arab Emirates / London, United Kingdom – 13 August 2020: Standard Chartered Bank and Airtel Africa have today announced a...

THE FUTURE JUST ARRIVED: THE ROLE OF BANKS IN A POST-COVID WORLD

THE COVID-19 GLOBAL pandemic has brought forward the future. It has brought about humanity’s biggest challenge in a century, to choose between...

Mauritius-Africa, a partnership for shared prosperity

By: Mathieu Mandeng In the current complex and challenging circumstances that are testing the...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

- Advertisement -