Murray & Roberts Cementation Zambia has been awarded the shaft sinking and equipping of the synclinorium shaft for Mopani Copper Mines in Kitwe, Zambia.

The new shaft is expected to add about 25 years to the life of the Nkana copper and cobalt mine near Kitwe. The main shaft, which will be sunk to 1 200 metres with a seven metre diameter, will be equipped as a rock hoisting shaft on this brownfields mine to service a new area under development. A 6 metre diameter raisebored ventilation shaft will form part of the full project. By 2018 the new shaft will boost Nkana’s ore production from 3.4m tons per year to 5.1m tons per year.

Mopani Copper Mine, owned by majority shareholder, Glencore is an integrated copper and cobalt producer located in the Zambian Copperbelt. Mopani’s operations comprise four underground mines, a concentrator and a cobalt plant in the town of Kitwe and an underground mine, concentrator, smelter and refinery in the town of Mufulira.

As the leading global mining contracting company, Murray & Roberts Cementation offers a comprehensive range of capabilities and services covering the full spectrum of the mining value chain. The company has served the mining industry for more than a century and is a leader in shaft sinking, contract mining and raise-and shaftboring technology and services, with a strong track record of successful mine project delivery worldwide.

The expert team of Murray & Roberts Cementation offers the industry hard-won industry knowledge, skills and experience in all aspects of mine project delivery, from concept to commissioning. The team is committed to safety and environmental awareness.

Allan Widlake, business development executive at Murray & Roberts Cementation, says however, that people remain Murray & Roberts Cementation’s most valuable asset and that the safety of employees and other site personnel working is not negotiable. “We maintain a business culture designed to keep safety constantly top-of-mind through the ‘Stop.Think’ campaign, risk assessments, training, observation and coaching of employees to promote our Zero Harm objective,” he said. “Each person’s accountability and responsibility to ensure safety is a tenet of the company’s philosophy and our employees are consistently encouraged to ‘do it right, first time, safely’.”

The organisation’s Business Management System actively drives safe business outcomes and Murray & Roberts Cementation’s 1st Choice Programme promotes the correct behaviours, values and principles that will ensure that this safety culture is grown from within. The company’s Bentley Park training facility near Carletonville provides a training service that produces skilled operators who can apply what they have learnt to ensure a safe outcome on site. The facility harnesses a highly successful combination of knowledge and hands-on skilling at a shaft mock-up on the campus, where real-life working conditions are simulated in as much detail as possible. This approach comprehensively supplements the facility’s computerised operation simulators. Murray & Roberts Cementation has OHAS 18001 certification.