OPERATIONS at KCM Nchanga Underground (NUG) in Chingola were early yesterday as hundreds of miners who were in the night shift feared for their lives following a black out at the mine.
A regrettable happened in the morning at about 01:00 am…survival underground in various shafts is by the grace of God and we thank God people are safe. No one should panic, those who were in the nightshift when we had a serious power outage due to theft of sensitive cables by unknown criminals were rescued. It was a life-threatening incident because what has been stolen are highly sensitive cables, they are called ventilation cables as they suck air from underground. This is the lifeline, the main breathing channel for people working underground,
a senior manager who declined to be named said in brief.
And in a statement later, Konkola Copper Mines public relations and communication manager Shapi Shachinda confirmed the incident and stated that unknown criminals had cut high voltage electricity cables at the Nchanga Underground, causing disruption to operations at the mine.
We regret to inform the nation that unknown criminals have cut high voltage electricity cables at the Nchanga underground mine in Chingola, causing disruption to operations at the mine. The incident occurred between midnight and 01:00am on Tuesday, 25th July 2017, when employees on the night shift experienced a sudden power outage at the Ventilation shaft. A check later revealed that at least 9 high voltage copper cables at the 11Kv substation had been cut off and stolen. This caused the Ventilation shaft, which sucks air from the underground, to stop functioning,
He stated that as a result of the incident, KCM had been forced to stop NUG operations to ensure the safety of the 991 miners at this particular operation.
Shachinda stated that this was the second of such incident in a fortnight, following the theft of 200 meters of high voltage cabling, which was cut and stolen at the tailings leach plant.