Glencore ends search for seven missing miners at Katanga in Congo

17 March 2016 (Last Updated March 17th, 2016 18:30)

Glencore concludes that the seven miners who went missing last week following the collapse of a pit wall at the company’s Katanga Mining operation in Congo are dead.

Glencore concludes that the seven miners who went missing last week following the collapse of a pit wall at the company's Katanga Mining operation in Congo are dead.

Katanga Mining is 75%-owned by Glencore, and commented that the incident occurred due to a geotechnical failure that was experienced on the north wall of the KOV open pit mine and claimed the lives of two workers.

Glencore said it has officially ended the search for the other four following rescue efforts for ten days.

The company said in a statement: "It is with deep sadness that Glencore must now assume that any individual who was in KOV open pit at the time of the incident will not have survived.

"It is with deep sadness that Glencore 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 focused on the recovery phase of the operation as weather and ground conditions allow."

Katanga is continuing to work with the relevant authorities.

An investigation is currently taking place to determine the cause of the geotechnical failure.

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said: "On behalf of the board, we offer our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased individuals and our sincere thanks to the search and rescue team who have worked tirelessly over the past ten days.

"We must reiterate that any loss of life at our operations is unacceptable and we will continue to work relentlessly to improve health and safety across the group."

The wall collapsed on workers who were performing upgrade work at the bottom of the KOV open pit at the time of the incident.