By NATION REPORTER
Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is taking further steps to support the fight against the deadly Covid-19 by making oxygen available to its hospitals and other health institutions on the Copperbelt, Company Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sheppard has said.
Mr Sheppard said that the KCM subsidiary, KCM SmelterCo Limited, oxygen produced from the 750 tonnes per day Oxygen Plant at the Nchanga Smelter would be useful for medical interventions, particularly to enhance oxygen saturation and breathing in patients infected by the Covid-19 once approved.
He said oxygen samples delivered for testing from the Oxygen Plant at the Nchanga smelter in Chingola to the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) were returned to KCM after the analysis with results at 95.7 percent and 97.8 percent, respectively.
Mr Sheppard said KCM was now seeking approvals from the Ministry of Health and other regulatory authorities to provide the oxygen for medical use in the fight against the Covid-19.
“With this outcome, KCM SmelterCo Limited will be able to provide oxygen to the KCM Nchanga South Hospital in Chingola and the Konkola Mine Hospital in Chililabomwe and other health facilities on the Copperbelt once approvals by the Ministry of Health and the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) are provided,” he said.
Mr Sheppard said the Oxygen Plant was capable of filling 10 x 6.8 cubic metre cylinders per hour.
“I personally have great relief with this outcome from the regulatory institution and the entire KCM is cheerful that our oxygen was certified as fit for use in medical institutions by the ZABS. This will help to ease the burden of oxygen requirements in Zambia and enable KCM and its subsidiary to make a significant contribution to the Covid-19 interventions,” Mr Sheppard said.
Mr Sheppard said KCM had engaged the Ministry of Health to determine how the oxygen would be delivered to health institutions on the Copperbelt and other parts of the country once the Copperbelt region had surplus stocks.
He said the mine also the ministry to agree modalities of how third-party oxygen cylinders would be made available for filling at the Oxygen Plant.