Following 43 deaths on Thursday, Glencore has urged illegal miners to stop trespassing on its mining concessions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kamoto Copper Company (KCC), a subsidiary of Glencore, said it has observed a growing presence of illegal artisanal miners throughout its industrial mining concessions in the Kolwezi area of the DRC.
“This has led to daily intrusions onto its concession by on average 2,000 illegal artisanal miners per day,” the miner said. “This has presented a significant risk to its employees, operating equipment and the illegal artisanal miners themselves.”
Tragically, there were 43 fatalities on Thursday 27 June, with possible further unconfirmed fatalities. The unauthorised miners were working two galleries in benches overlooking the KCC extraction area when two of these galleries caved in.
“These incidents were not linked to KCC operations or activities. KCC is currently engaged in assisting search and rescue operations with the local authorities,” said KCC.
“KCC urges all illegal miners to cease from putting their lives at risk by trespassing on a major industrial site. KCC is doing what it can to inform the communities of the dangers associated with illegal trespassing on major industrial concessions.
“The safety and security of its employees, contractors and host communities is of paramount importance to KCC. KCC will take all possible measures to ensure their safety and will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders.”
The company added that it is committed to acting responsibly, in a manner that respects human rights and in line with its commitments to its Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
The incident has not had an impact on KCC’s production on the site.