Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) announces that an incident occurred at the Nchanga 500 tonnes per day (TPD) Sulphur Burning Plant where some gas emission affected the plant area and surrounding community resulting in some members of the community being hospitalized for precautionary observation.
Last evening at around 18:30hrs, the 500 TPD Sulphur Burning Plant experienced an electrical power supply surge which tripped and disturbed the Plant. During the early hours of this morning, 15 November 2019, while in the process of stabilizing the plant some gases escaped into the atmosphere and the surrounding areas including the New East Mill Crusher Plant where 53 employees experienced irritation and inhalation difficulties. They were taken to the hospital for mandatory observation before being pronounced medically fit and discharged.
Related to this incident, this morning at around 07:30hrs the Company received a report that Nchanga Trust Secondary School was not conducive for the pupils to sit for Grade 12 examinations and Nchanga Trust Secondary School Management referred 232 pupils to the Hospital for observation. KCM working with various Government Departments in the District immediately formed a joint team to assess the suitability of the school to continue being an Examination Centre for the scheduled Grade 12 Examination. The team has since determined the school to be safe for normal occupation.
The Nchanga South Hospital Medical staff certified the 37 grade 12 pupils fit to write the examinations and all the pupils returned to school where they sat for the examinations.
KCM has launched investigations into the matter to prevent a recurrence of this regrettable incident. The investigations are being done jointly with Mine Safety Department, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and others.
The 500 TPD Sulphur Burning Plant is not located within the Smelter facilities and the incident does not have any impact on the scheduled start up of the Smelter.
KCM Management would like to extend sincere gratitude to the civic authorities, Nchanga Trust School Management, the parents as well as the members of the community for the support extended during this incident.