Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) mine rescue teams have emerged winners of the 2022 national mine rescue competition, a dress-rehearsal undertaken to ascertain the preparedness of underground mine rescue teams to manage major mine accidents in the mining sector.
The annual event, which was held for five days from July 25, 2022 at the Victoria Falls Hydro-Power Station in Livingstone, comprised nine underground mine rescue teams from KCM, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), NFCA, CNMC Luanshya, Lubambe Copper Mines and Mabiza Resources Nickel Mine.
The participants are assessed on various critical requirements in mine rescue such as fitness, team-work, firefighting and life-saving techniques, as well as disaster management.
KCM’s Nchanga Team C emerged overall winners of the national final heat competition, which is organized by the Zambia Mines Rescue Association (ZMRA).
The KCM Nchanga Team C scored 179.4 points in the tightly contested final heat where another KCM team Konkola Team A came out second with 179.1 points. Last year’s winners Lubambe Copper Mine Team B were in third position with 177.3 points.
KCM Group Safety Manager Operations Felix Sikaonga said the performance of the KCM teams underlined the Company’s priority placing Safety ahead of production and also an indication that the safety teams had not dropped the bar despite being away from the competition for three years.
Mr Sikaonga said, “We last participated in the final heat competition in 2018 where Nchanga C won the competition. They have replicated that victory, which is proof of the Company’s robust safety standards. It reinforces our continuous focus on safety trainings and other internal measures intended to safeguard life and our assets.” “KCM will continue to play a part in ensuring safety is upheld in all out operations as we also keep exchanging global best practices with our peers in order to make Zambia mining and communities in and around mining areas safe havens,” he said.
The KCM team, which won the 2018 competition is scheduled to represent Zambia at the 2022 International Mine Rescue Competition (IMRC) in West Virginia, USA in September, after the resumption of the international competition derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nchanga C team, the winners of the year’s final will again represent the country with two other teams from Mopani and Lubambe who won in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively, in the international competitions which will be held in Colombia next year.
“These are exciting times in the sense that it is the first time that a KCM team will represent the country in an international mine rescue competition. We are confident of an awardwinning performance from the KCM team,” he said.
This is contained in a statement issued by KCM General Manager Corporate Affairs Shapi Shachinda.