MOPANI Copper Mines says one employee has died after being hit by a skip from a headgear during routine maintenance works at its South Ore Body (SOB) Shaft in Kitwe.

In a statement, Monday, Mopani Public Relations Manager, Nerbet Mulenga named the deceased as Justin Nsakanya, 45, adding that the incident occurred on Sunday around 13:00 hours.

“It is with deep regret that Mopani Copper Mines PLC confirms a fatal incident at the South Ore Body (SOB) Shaft in Kitwe, which occurred on Sunday, 20 March 2022. The incident happened around 13:00 hours as a team of Mopani Engineering and Mining crews were conducting planned weekly maintenance in the Man Cage Compartment at the SOB Shaft Bank. One of the skips from the headgear unfortunately moved down the shaft and in the process hit and fatally injured one employee, a Boiler Maker, Mr. Justin Nsakanya aged 45 years,” he said.

Mulenga said operations at SOB have since been suspended and assured that the company would provide the deceased’s family with the necessary support during this difficult time.

“Mopani Copper Mines PLC is working closely with the Mines Safety Department, Zambia Police Service and other relevant authorities to investigate what could have caused this tragic accident. All operations at SOB have been suspended until further notice. Mopani Copper Mines PLC Management expresses its deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased and will be providing them with the necessary support during this difficult time. Further updates will be communicated as appropriate,” said Mulenga.