DRC. Two workers are reported dead in separate incidents at Katanga Mining’s undeground mine in the DRC. The first worker was killed on the 27 February and the second lost his life on the 1 March 2009.
Katanga further reported that extensive accident investigations involving local government officials and internal Safety personnel were underway to understand the causes of the incidents and to prevent any future occurences.
The mine was declared safe to continue operations while the investigations take place.
The family and collegues of the deceased held Katanga’s legal advisor and union leader hostage demanding compensation from the company and a guarantee that the company would fill the posts with family members, reported Cume Jinga, mayor of Kolwezi.
The hostages were released after Katanga Mining agreed to employ members of the same family and also agreed to coompensation according to the company’s code.
Nama Mutshaila, one of the workers who died, was killed after rocks fell from the mine’s roof; his father reported. The other worker, Alain Kalenga, was crushed in an underground landslide, according to his brother.
Katanga declined to comment on the details surrounding the workers’ deaths, and the representatives held hostage.
The DRC has 4% of all the the world’s copper and a third of the world’s cobalt reserves. Katanga Mining is in possession of the Kamoto underground mine and the open pit KOV mine on the outskirts of Kolwezi which is about 250km north west of Lubumbashi, the cpital of the southern Katanga Province.