LUSAKA- Zambia’s mining minister Richard Musukwa announced an investigation on Thursday after 10 people died during the collapse of a mine dump in the country’s copper-producing region.
On Wednesday 10 subsistence miners were killed when the dump known locally as Black Mountain collapsed in Zambia’s second-largest city and mining hub Kitwe.
Mining Minister Musukwa said an “the investigations are still underway and we have suspended operations at the Black Mountain to allow for a forensic investigation”.
Musukwa blamed the incident “people who should not have been in the mine”, describing them as “illegal miners or scavengers”.
Media in Zambia reported that in May after small-scale miners at the site began using explosives to extract copper from the mine dump, this damaged the nearby properties and possibly dislodging the mound.
Zambia has some of the world’s largest copper reserves and the metal accounts for as much as 80% of the country’s export earnings.
According to the InfoMine service, growing demand for copper has seen prices spike above $3.14 for a pound.
Due to increase in demand there has been a surge in illegal mining activity in Zambia, and this is largely influenced by the high unemployment rate in the country.
Photo Credit- Arab News PK