Mopani sued for K165,000 over miner’s death

Sat, 04 Mar 2017 10:18:16 +0000

MOPANI Copper Mines Plc has been sued for alleged negligence and breach of statutory duty over the death of an employee killed in an explosives accident at Mufulira mine last year, and the family is demanding about K165,000 compensation.   

Administrator to the estate of late Royd Meleki has dragged the mining conglomerate and its subsidiary Rig Resources Limited to court on behalf of the dependants of the deceased under the Fatal Accidents Act 1846-1908 and the Law Reforms (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act and Mines and Minerals Development Act No. 7 of 2008.

Mr Meleki, 46, was employed as the person-in-charge at Rig Resources Limited with a basic salary of K2,300 till the time of his death on 26th October, 2016.

Rachel Chiteta has submitted that on the fateful day, Mr Meleki was assigned to work on a project at Mopani’s Mufulira mine site 1,457 to prepare ends for charging and blasting at the Crosscut South.

“After his two workmen had charged the ends with explosives the deceased, Royd Meleki, waited for time to light up the ends at blasting time.

 “In the foregoing the day shift crew, who were conducting a sectional entry examination, found Meleki lying on the ground shouting for help at 60P9 Crosscut South that was blasted. He succumbed to the injuries arising from the blast,” she said.

She charged that both Rigs Resources and Mopani Mines caused the accident by negligence and breach of statutory duty.

She said failure by Mopani mine management to maintain and enforce the recommended migration systems which are supposed to take place immediately after the safety fuses in the magazines were finishing and replaced by electronic Digishot meant that the accident scene was dangerous to workmen.

Ms Chiteta said there was not enough persons in charge to carry out their duties effectively which resulted in the deceased to be assigned more ends to blast contrary to the common practice.

She explained that Mr Meleki was well qualified under the explosives regulation 833(b) but that the two defendants failed their responsibilities to the employee, and so they should be held liable for damages suffered by the deceased.

She has since requested for damages in loss of expectation of life to the value of K5,000 as well as compensation to the family in the sum of K160,672 being basic pay for nine years.


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