Illegal miners riot over closure of Sinkhole by Mopani Copper Mines
Written by newsroom on July 23, 2019
By Raphael Mulenga, Kitwe
Suspected illegal miners in Kitwe this morning fought running battle as they rioted over the closure of a sinkhole near the South Ore Body (SOB) by Mopani Copper Mines on safety reasons.
A check by Flava Fm News found the rioters burning tyres, shrubs and blocked Mindola Road while classes at Kalela Primary School were immediately suspended.
Two Vehicles, a truck belonging to Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) Milling was smashed while distributing mealie meal in Wusakile Township by the unruly illegal miners.
The rioters brought down a Wall fence at Mopani’s South Ore Body Shaft and went on loot Steal construction materials mainly steel bars among others.
Meanwhile, Police in full riot gear moved in to calm the situation.
Speaking in an interview, Small Scale Miners Association of Zambia Spokesperson Sam Mpembwe says the closing of the sinkhole Mopani Copper Mines at South Ore Body Shaft will have a huge impact on the lives of youths who earned a living from it.
Mr Mpembwe said the mining firm should have not closed the sinkhole because it is a source of living for the majority unemployed youths in Wusakile.
And Mopani Copper Mines Public Relations Manager Nebert Mulenga stated that Mopani Copper Mines has secured the sinkhole near the South Ore Body (SOB) in Kitwe as a safety precaution in line with mine safety regulations.
He said the sinkhole is a caving area within Mopani Copper Mines Plc’s mining rights area adding that the move is aimed curtailing all illegal mining activities.