Wednesday, April 24, 2024

EIZ advises ‘black mountain miners’ to observe safety rules


The Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ) has been applauded for empowering the local people to conduct mining activities at the black mountain in Kitwe in the Copperbelt provinces.

EIZ president, Abel Ng’andu, has however expressed concern that stakeholders conducting the mining activities are not properly adhering to the laid down safety mining methods.

Mr. Ng’andu said the government has presented an opportunity for entrepreneurship hence the need for the participants to adhere to strict safety rules.

He disclosed that in 2018, EIZ constituted a team of experts to investigate the mining operations at the black mountain and made recommendations on safe and controlled mining practices at the site.

He said a comprehensive technical report on safe mining of the slag dump was made and can be accessed at EIZ.

Mr. Ng’andu noted that the institute recommended that no operations should be allowed at the base of the slag dump.

He explained that mining should be done with a top-to-down approach such as excavating down with five metres benches, with safe distance from pit edge, and then push material over edge until safe slope is attained.

Mr. Ng’andu added that EIZ also recommended that no mix of artisanal and mechanised mining should be allowed.

He added that safety hazard protocols concerning mobile equipment should be implemented as well as other relevant lifesaving and hazard protocols relevant to open pit operations.

He stated that it was also recommended that apart from securing the mine and installing appropriate signage, making of unsafe areas, slope movement needed to be monitored on a daily or shift basis.

The EIZ president added that there was need to ensure that apportionment of the current dump resource should be based on “tonnage” and not based on physical area so that unsafe areas are avoided.

Mr. Ng’andu has since advised that all stakeholders involved in the mining operations of the dump site should ensure that the above recommendations are followed to avoid injury or loss of life.

Government has allowed the resumption of operations at the black mountain and encouraged youths and women to form cooperatives to access the ore-rich slag dump.

But in the last two days, youths had run amok demanding the revision of the set guidelines regarding access to the site.


  1. Who’s going to listen to that advice? Solution is to close the damn thing before we lose lives through accidents or mineral related diseases. Only when concrete plans are in place should we begin operations.


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