A group of illegal copper dealers confronted the police yesterday morning after the Mopani Copper Mines closed a sinkhole near the South Ore Body Shaft due to safety reasons.
The group of young people blocked the roads and set tires on fire in Kitwe’s Wusakile Township. Some vehicles belonging to the Mopani Copper Mines were stoned by the enraged rioters.
Mopani Copper Mines Public Relations Manager Nebert Mulenga has confirmed the closure of the sinkhole where the alleged illegal copper dealers were scavenging minerals after exhausting their 10 percent at the black mountain.
“Mopani Copper Mines Plc confirms that the sinkhole near the South Ore Body (SOB) in Kitwe has been secured as a safety precaution in line with mine safety regulations. The sinkhole is a caving area within Mopani Copper Mines Plc’s mining rights area and our securing it is also meant to curtail all illegal mining activities,” Mulenga stated.
He said the Mopani Copper Mines Plc was working together with the Mines Safety Department (MSD), the Zambia Police Service and other relevant authorities during the operation.