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KCM shuts down Nchanga Copper Smelter

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has shut down its Nchanga Copper Smelter in Chingola for 21 days following a molten metal leakage incident from one of the furnaces.

In a media statement, KCM Plc Provisional Liquidator Ms Celine Nair stated that no loss of life or injuries to employees was recorded during the incident which occurred on Monday.

She said the shutdown period will be used to conduct repairs to the furnace, before commencing system heating-up to restart the processing plant.

Below is the full statement

Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) informs business partners and stakeholders that the Nchanga smelter, which is operated by its subsidiary, KCM SmelterCo Limited has been shut down to facilitate repair works following a molten metal leakage from one of the furnaces.

There was no loss of life or injuries to employees during the incident. Around 07:30 hours on Monday, 26th June 2023, furnace parameters as read by the operator from the distributed control system (DCS), showed signs of metal leak. All employees were immediately evacuated to safety before the metal leak in line with protocols implemented at the Nchanga smelter, which worked well.

The area was then barricaded to ensure safety and the KCM Fire Department was alerted about the incident.

KCM Plc Provisional Liquidator Ms Celine Nair stated that “KCM has now commenced a 21-day smelter shutdown to repair the Flash Smelting Furnace (FSF), and eventually stabilize smelter operations. The shutdown period will be used to conduct repairs to the furnace, before commencing system heating-up to restart the processing plant.”

During this period, the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Enock Mponda, added that KCM will rely on acid from the 500-tonnes-per day acid plant at Nchanga operations to feed the Tailings Leach Plant (TLP) for copper processing, and procure additional acid in order to plug the gap of acid production from the smelter.

Issued by Shapi Shachinda – General Manager Corporate Affairs