Two workers died and five are still missing after a 250-metre pit wall collapsed at Glencore’s huge Katanga Mining copper and cobalt operation in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the mine’s chairman said.
“Of the seven who disappeared, two bodies were found,” Gustave Nzeng, chairman of Kamoto Copper Company (KCC), the joint venture that runs the mine, told Reuters in the town of Kolwezi.
2 dead, 5 missing after Glencore Congo mine mishap https://t.co/VrX1surcsg— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) March 8, 2016
This was the least bad scenario because there weren't nearly as many workers there as before
Nzeng also pointed out that heavy rains had hindered rescue efforts.
According to Delphin Monga, provincial secretary of the UCDT union, the scenario could have been worse as many workers had been suspended.
“This was the least bad scenario because there weren’t nearly as many workers there as before,” Monga said.
Katanga mining joint venture is controlled by Glencore, a Swiss company, while Congo’s state mining company Gecamines and Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler’s Fleurette Group both hold minority stakes.
The grand companies that are involved in mining like Freeport-McMoRan, Ivanhoe and Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, have invested heavily in this sector since 2003 after the signing of a peace deal that ended a regional war.