Katanga Mining, Glencore’s DRC copper business, on Thursday announced it has been unsuccessful in rescuing the missing people lost after the geotechnical failure at KOV.

The geotechnical failure occurred 10 days ago at the KOV pit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and while all available resources have been allocated to the search and rescue effort, only three bodies have been located. The third has not yet been positively identified.

It is with deep sadness that Glencore says the companies must now assume that any individual who was in KOV open pit at the time of the incident will not have survived.

[quote]The activities in KOV open pit will now be focused on the recovery phase of the operation as weather and ground conditions allow.

Both Glencore and Katanga Mining express their sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the individuals who have died as a result of this tragic incident. All appropriate support will be provided.

Katanga Mining also continues to work closely with the relevant authorities. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the geotechnical failure and further updates will be made as appropriate.

Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore CEO, comments: “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 10 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.”

Hugh Stoyell, Chairman of Katanga Mining adds: “It is with heavy hearts that we shift our focus at Katanga from search and rescue to that of recovery. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased who are receiving our full support. I also wish to express my gratitude to the search and rescue team for their determined efforts.”