The Black Mountain Community Consortium has refuted social media reports suggesting that one person died yesterday at the black mountain where it is conducting mining activities.
Speaking at a media briefing in Kitwe yesterday, Consortium Spokesperson Kangwa Kamando said contrary to the social media reports, some youths he yesterday referred to as chrome pickers were injured away from the black mountain as they tried to jump from a moving truck.
Mr. Kamando said the Consortium is taking responsibility in its mining activities by adhering to safety guidelines.
He said the mining activities are supervised by professional safety officers adding that if people were dying at the black mountain the Mine Safety department would have halted the operations there.
“I want to put it on record that its being four months since we began operations at the Black mountain and since then, we have never recorded any death, the only death that has occurred happened outside the black mountain and it involved chrome pickers that jump on moving trucks to get chrome, it is therefore unfair to report that people are dying at the Black mountain when it is in fact not true, ” Mr. Kamando said.
And Mr. Kamando castigated Nkana Member of Parliament, Binwell Mpundu for posting a statement on his Facebook page stating that youths are dying at the black mountain.
He said Mr. Mpundu who he said is a direct beneficiary of the mining activities through the two trucks allocated to him should tell the truth because he fully understands what is going on at the mining facility.
Mr. Kamando has since threatened to withdraw the two trucks allocated to Mr. Mpundu’s office and allocate them to Chisokone market Community saying the consortium cannot continue considering people who do not appreciate.
And Kitwe District Commissioner, Lawrence Mwanza said his office in collaboration with the police is working on finding a lasting solution to the problem of chrome pickers jumping on moving trucks which he said is the cause of the reported accidents outside the black mountain.
Mr. Mwanza also stated that an alternative route for tipper trucks transporting materials from the black mountain will soon be opened away from the central business district.
But when called for a comment on the matter, Mr. Mpundu said he did not say that youths are dying from the black mountain but dying from avoidable Black Mountain mining activities related deaths.
He said youths are jumping from moving trucks to pick chrome because they feel they have been given a raw deal at the black mountain.
“In the past youths we given Saturday and Sunday to pick chrome from the black mountain but now they have been stopped from doing so as a result they are jumping on moving trucks to get chrome and that is why they are dying, but l am not saying they are dying from the black mountain,” Mr Mpundu said.
He however admitted that his constituency has been allocated seven trucks for empowerment of selected beneficiaries.
Yesterday a male youth had his legs amputated after he was run over by a tipper truck carrying materials from the black mountain when he jumped from a moving truck.