10 Jerabos killed, seven injured as Black Mountain collapses

CHAPAMO Mineral Resources has pledged to adhere to safety measures at the Black Mountain including the conditions announced by Mines and Minerals Development Minister Richard Musukwa on Thursday.

Chapamo is a special purpose vehicle under which a number of firms operate at the dump slag in Kitwe, popularly known as Black Mountain between Wusakile Township and Nkana West.

In June, this year 11 people died after the Black Mountain caved in, prompting Government to suspend operations.

Chapamo director Kelvin Tembo said in an interview yesterday that the area would be fenced off while Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) would be mounted to monitor all movements.

Mr Tembo said additional Zambia Police would be deployed while all 150 employees would be required to have identity cards all the time.

He said the company had a series of meetings with officials from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and with Mr Musukwa himself.

On sanitation, Mr Tembo said the company had engaged Nkana Water and Sewerage Company to install pipes while standby water bowsers would be stationed in case of water supply interruption.

On Thursday, Mr Musukwa announced that investigations showed that Chapamo had no competent supervisors while operations were disintegrated such that it was difficult to account for workers on site at the time of accident.

Mining regulations

Other findings were that there was a failure to effectively supervise, direct and control operations as provided for under the mining regulations and conditions of grant. Chapamo, the minister noted, had no documented safe operating procedures, log books or books to document work assignments and no employee registers to account for persons on site.

The minister also cited the other cause as disintegrated operations among separate entities and individuals contrary to the memorandum of understanding.