Conveyor collapses at Lumwana mine in Solwezi

Barrick’s Lumwana mine is located in North-Western Province, Zambia.
Barrick’s Lumwana mine is located in North-Western Province, Zambia.

Mining of copper ore at Barrick Lumwana mine in Solwezi has been disrupted following the collapse of the coarse-ore stockpile conveyor.
The conveyor which has a daily carrying capacity of 80,000 tons of copper ore collapsed on April 15 this year.

Lumwana Mine General Manager Bill McNevin and Processing Manager Guy Gordingley confirmed the development yesterday.

Mr McNevin said the mine cannot continue extracting copper ore because it is unable to move ore from the pits to the stockpile following the collapsing of the conveyor.

He said mining activities have since been scaled down to clearing waste on the pits to prepare for installation of in-pit crushing technology.

Mr McNevin was speaking when he briefed North Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu who rushed to the mine to confirm the suspension of mining activities at Lumwana.

Mr Mubukwanu assured management at the mine that government will provide any support available to ensure smooth operations resume at the mine.

He said when there is a breakdown at the mine government gets concerned because consequences can have overspill effects on the position of the mine and the general economy of the country.

And Mr Gordingley said the collapse of the mine will have serious financial implications, but assured the provincial minister that no single job will be lost during this period when mining activities are suspended.

He said investigations are still underway to establish what caused the coarse-ore stockpile conveyor to collapse, adding that everything possible was being done to fix the conveyor so that the mine can resume normal operations.