STATEMENT TO THE MEDIA ON POLLUTION
Konkola Copper Mines confirms that there was a leak in one of its age-old Preg tanks, at the Tailings Leach Plant (TLP) at Nchanga in Chingola at the weekend, some of which seeped into the Kafue River.
Immediate steps were taken to correct the situation by taking the suspect leach solution tank off line and applying lime to neutralise the acid and spillage. The Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) was also notified and the Council sent a team of experts to investigate the incident.
Since the incident, KCM, the water supply company Mulonga and the ECZ have been working tirelessly to ensure that the situation is brought to normal as soon as possible and water supply restored to the affected communities of Chingola. The company regrets the inconvenience this situation has caused to the residents of Chingola.
KCM continues to invest in modernising its operations to increase recoveries, efficiency and to ensure that its operations do not do any harm to the environment by employing the latest technology in new plants, such as the New Nchanga smelter and the new concentrator at Konkola.
At the TLP itself, work has been going on to replace the four aging mild-steel rubber-lined tanks with new ones. One of the four largest tanks has already been replaced at a cost of $1.5million, while work is progressing to replace a second one. The new tanks are made of stainless steel which can more competently withstand the acidic duty to which they are permanently applied.
Additionally, in the next few weeks, KCM expects to commission a $7.5 million reinforced Tailings pipeline which is made of special high-resistant material, in a programme to replace the traditional mild-steel rubber-lined lines that have suffered a number of failures in the past.
Manager Corporate Affairs