Wednesday 9 March 2016

Landslide at Kamoto Copper Mine kills at least two.

Two people are known to have died and a further five are missing following a landslide at the Kamoto Copper Mine in Lualaba Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, at about 6.00 am local time on Tuesday 8 March 2016. All of those involved are reported to have been involved in dewatering operations (extracting fluids from soil in order to lower the water table prior to excavation work) when the incident occurred. Excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids, thus approximately 90% of landslides occur following flooding, heavy rainfall or other severe weather events.

The KOV and Kamoto East Pits at the Kamoto Mine. The 8 March 2016 incident is reported to have occurred at the north end of the KOV pit. Katanga Mining Ltd.

The Kamoto Mine was operated between 1969 and 1990 by the state-owned Gécamines, during which time it produced around 38 million tonnes of ore, yielding about 2.2 million tonnes of copper and 180 000 tonnes of cobalt. In 2006 the mine re-opened as a joint operation between Gécamines and Katanga Mining Ltd., a local subsidiary of Glencore, with the mine being operated by Katanga Mining but 25% of the profits going to Gécamines. At the time of re-opening the pits were completely flooded, requiring about a year of water removal operations before ore-extraction could recommence. Lualaba Province has a wet tropical climate, typically receiving over 1100 mm of rainfall per year, with two annual peaks in November (with an average monthly rainfall of 260 mm) and March (with an average monthly rainfall of 230 mm).

See also... mining in the twenty first century. Tantalum is a transition metal highly sort after for its ability to store and release electricity (in the form of electrons), ductability, tensile strength, resistance... International report implicates Forrest Mining Group in forced evictions in the Democratic Republic of Congo.                   The human rights organization Amnesty International has published a report entitled BULLDOZED: How... International reports on the mining industry in Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of Congo.                                      The Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaïre), has extensive deposits of a number of valuable metals, including gold, copper, tantalum, tungsten, niobium...
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