The search for the seven colleagues missing since the geotechnical failure has been underway for 10 days, during which time, three bodies have been located, one of which remains to be positively identified. Despite all available resources being made available for the search effort, no further individuals have been located.
Therefore, it is with deep regret that the Company must now assume that any individual who was in KOV Open Pit at the time of the incident will not have survived. The activities in KOV Open Pit will now be focussed on the recovery phase of the operation as weather and ground conditions allow.
The Company expresses its sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the individuals who have died as a result of this tragic incident. All appropriate support will be provided.
The Company continues to work closely with the relevant authorities. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the geotechnical failure and further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Hugh Stoyell, Chairman of Katanga, commented:
“It is with heavy hearts that we shift our focus at Katanga from search and rescue to that of recovery. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased who are receiving our full support. I also wish to express my gratitude to the search and rescue team for their determined efforts.”