Nchanga smelter this morning had a slag run out and not a fire as earlier reported. This is according to KCM General Manager Eugene Chungu. A slag run out is when molten material containing cobalt abruptly flows out of the furnace. It was all contained within the bunded area. At around 6:00hrs KCM engineers noticed elevated temperatures near the tapping area prior to the event and as per risk-based emergency protocols ensured that all the people working in the area were evacuated, thus preventing any injuries.
Below is the press release on Nchanga Smelter Operations
Konkola Copper Mines Plc would like to announce 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.
The incident occurred at the Cobalt Recovery Furnace of the Nchanga Smelter. 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 remarked; “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.
The Company is committed to ramping up operations at Konkola Underground and Nchanga Underground mines, and stabilize operations across the Company.
Corporate Affairs General Manager