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Monday, August 10, 2020

Konkola Copper Mines detects impending caving in of the Ground at the Nchanga Open Pit

General News Konkola Copper Mines detects impending caving in of the Ground at the...

Konkola Copper Mines has predicted an impending slough (Caving in of ground) after its geo-technical assessments detected some slope instability at the Nchanga Open Pit Cut 2 in Chingola.

KCM Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sheppard says the anticipated slough is manifesting through a series of multiple tension cracks, which have continued opening up almost parallel to the strike of the open pit east perimeter road in a South East–North West direction.

Mr Sheppard said when he addressed the media in Chingola that preliminary indications have shown that the slough will be confined to a stretch of approximately 350 metres and the estimated volume of the area that would be involved in the failure is 8 million cubic metres.

He said the real time slope stability monitoring radar station is currently tracking the increasing movement of the slope inside the open pit and current predictions are that the open pit slope will fail anytime between today, 2 July and Tuesday 7 July, 2020.

He said, “I should hasten to mention that as a responsible management, we have already implemented a number of measures to avert a significant impact of the predicted slough on people, essentially communities around the mining area and our employees. 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.”

Mr Sheppard said the mine has demarcated a hazard exclusion zone, which is 90 metres thick to provide for an acceptable factor of safety.

He said the exclusion zone in which the slope failure will take place is thus at least 60 metres away from the nearby communities of Nchanga North (Buyantanshi Township and in particular Buntungwa Ward).

“All the structures within Nchanga North are situated on competent, stable basement rock which will not be effected by the sloughing of the open pit slope,” he added.

The CEO noted that KCM is currently rerouting power lines and water pipes, which carry water from Kafue Pump Station to the Nchanga Smelter and Mulonga Water and Sanitation Company on a stretch of approximately 650 metres and hoped works would be completed in the shortest possible time to avoid major disruptions to power and water supply.

Mr Sheppard said in order to prevent inadvertent entry of nearby residents into the hazardous exclusion zone, members of the Zambia Police and KCM Security have been deployed full time to the perimeter of the exclusion zone.

He said the mine has been engaging various stakeholders including the Central and Local Government authorities, civic and community leaders in sensitising people to find common solutions together.


  1. What’s the root cause of the impending failure. Is it because of pore pressure, improper pit design parameters, or lack of maintenance/drainage? Shed some more light please.

  2. Give back the Mine to the Indians. They had better Geologists and Mine Engineers. There was no such things as cavings or Sloughs .

  3. We put it in God’s hands. Oh jehovah our black jesus we pray for your protection from the evil wishes of opposition and diasporans. We know they pray for death in our country but please lord deflect that death back to them and their families. Amen

  4. Bashi Chite,
    Primarily, it looks like:
    * High pore water pressure caused by total neglect of slope drainage, and secondarily
    * Because of financial constraints, they’ve gone for a steeper pit slope in order to shift less overburden
    A well-drained slope has enough inter/intra particular friction to hold the wall intact!

  5. Anyone remember my prediction that KCM will be closed by end of the year?????
    The diesel supplier has also withdrawn due to lack of payments

  6. Chief engineer, without taking sides in the dispute btwn the PF government and Vedanta Resources, please don’t insult Zambian expertise in mining. It’s simply world class, I repeat, world class. Some mining companies hv placed adverts in Zambian newspapers in order to recruit Zambian mining specialists. U simply don’t know this country. Zambians hv read mining engineering at such schools as the Carmbone school of mining in Cornwall, Newcastle University, University of Colorado etc and hv come back home to work in industry or to teach at university. Zambians won’t tolerate insults from their guests. The owner of Vedanta has insulted Zambians before and yet he’s just a citizen of a post-colonial country, India. Both Zambia and India hv been ruled by colonial corporations, the…

  7. British South Africa Company and the East India Company before the inglorious empire took over. Where do Indians find this rude attitude towards Africans?

  8. @Chief engineer is an Indian, rubbish. This is not India. KCM wsnt created by the Indians, ad don’t pass silly comments you hd your time ad failed.

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