In another mining incident in Zambia, seven workers, including two Chinese nationals, found themselves trapped in a flooded mine in the Copperbelt province near the Congo border. The incident occurred at the Macrolink copper mine in Ndola City, which is currently under construction. The trapped miners are employees of the Chinese-owned mine, and rescue efforts are underway.
The Chinese embassy in Zambia is coordinating specialists to aid in the rescue operation. Macrolink has temporarily halted mine operations in response to the incident. This event comes on the heels of a previous incident where dozens of miners were buried in landslides at Seseli Mine in Chingola, located about 400 km (250 miles) north-west of the capital, Lusaka, just a month ago. The fate of around 30 miners who went missing in that mudslide remains unknown.
Augustine Kasongo, a senior government official in Copperbelt Province, reported that one person has been rescued so far from the flooded mine. Rescue teams are actively working to pump out water from the mine, and reports indicate that the seven trapped workers are about 235 metres (771 feet) below the surface.
The two Chinese nationals trapped include the mine supervisor and a controller, while the other five are Zambians who were working at the shaft bottom of the mine. The Chinese embassy has issued a statement, noting that they are providing “dewatering equipment and other necessary assistance to complement the efforts of the Zambian authorities.”
Zambia, as one of the world’s leading copper producers, has seen a series of mining incidents in recent times, bringing attention to safety concerns in the industry. Many of the country’s mines are operated by foreign entities.