Nchanga Smelter catches fire


Konkola Copper Mines Plc has announced that an incident occurred at the Nchanga Smelter at around 6:00hours of this morning that resulted in a run out of slag material, although no injury occurred.

KCM Corporate Affairs General Manager Eugene Chungu said the incident occurred at the Cobalt Recovery Furnace of the Nchanga Smelter.

Mr Chungu said the smelter had been scheduled to undergo a planned shutdown this Friday, which has now been brought forward by 48 hours.

Smelting and Refining Unit Head, Enock Mponda said, “At around 6:00hrs our engineers noticed elevated temperatures near the tapping area prior to the event. As per our risk-based emergency protocols we ensured that all the people working in the area were evacuated, thus preventing any injuries. The slag runout was contained within the limited bunded area. Although there is a standby furnace which we could bring, online we have decided to bring forward the planned shutdown by 48 hours.”

The smelter normally undergoes a major shut down every two years and thus was scheduled for 2018 but was postponed to this year. The shutdown is planned for a duration of 39 days. During this time all operations at Konkola, Nchanga and Nampundwe Mines will continue to run normally.

Mr Chungu said KCM is committed to ramping up operations at Konkola Underground and Nchanga Underground mines, and stabilize operations across the Company.


  1. Are we safe? Is the mine in good hands? Nothing much has changed at the mine after chasing away the Indians, contractors are still being paid late. Production is still low, the government needs to make very urgent decisions. This is an opportune time to show that Zambians can run these mines but such stories are not encouraging….

  2. This is what happens when you postponed the shutdown. Every equipment needs serving before continue using it, what kind of Engineers are those that can postponed the maintenance for almost a year and expect the smelter to be in a normal operation.

  3. The Judiciary should show patriotism by concluding the liquidation process in record time, why adjournments that takes months?

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