Illegal miners pillage copper mine in Zambia

Illegal miners have destroyed nearly $100,000 worth of equipment at the Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) in Zambia, AllAfrica reports. 

Eighty miners entered the site with the intention of stealing copper but where intercepted by Zambian police officers.

Armed with machetes and bars and outnumbering the officers, the illegal miners damaged equipment during the confrontation.

Among the damaged equipment are mine surveillance cameras, cables, a driller and a Land Cruiser.

"The driller was just recently acquired at a total cost of US$1.2 million and it will cost us a lot to have it fixed, for the time being we have hired a driller from Zambezi Drillers for which we are going to pay K3,500 monthly," a KCM representative told AllAfrica reporters.

The mine also lost about 60 tonnes of copper during the incident.

Illegal mining is a major problem for companies and not just in Zambia. India, Colombia, Ghana and Peru are just a few of the countries dealing with illegal mining. The unregulated activities jeopardize company profits, safety and the environment.