NFC Africa Chambishi Mine are the 2023 Zambia Mines Rescue (ZMR) Final Heat Competition winners.

By Kelvin Mudenda and Yewa Kumwenda

The NFCA mine rescue team beat eight other mine rescue teams to be crowned the 2023 Zambia Chamber of Mines National Final Heat Competition winners during a tightly contested competition held at the Zesco Victoria Falls Hydro-Power Station in Livingstone from 24th – 28th July 2023.

The NFCA Chambishi team that will represent Zambia at the 2024 International Mines Rescue Competition (IMRC) in Columbia, South America outshined Mabiza Nickel Resources Mine of Mazabuka District in Southern Province who came in second place and Lubambe Copper Mine of Chililabombwe District who scooped the third position.

NFCA mine rescue team celebrate after winning the 2023 competition

Speaking during the awards presentation gala dinner held at The Courtyard Hotel in Livingstone, Zambia Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Mr. Sokwani Chilembo said the mining industry presented unique challenges of safety. Mr. Chilembo said mine accidents had huge cost implications on the mine and lives of people, adding that minimising accidents in the mining sector was pivotal for sustainable productivity. He said a combination of safety practices and skills were highly demanded for improved protection of mining infrastructure, equipment and human resource.

He said the availability of mine rescue skilled persons enhanced safety in the mines and enhanced productivity.

Mabiza Nickel Resources mine rescue team scooped the 2nd Position

“This year’s competition is unique and greatly transformed from the traditional format. The activities have been more elaborate, testing the knowledge and practical skills of the participants to great detail,” Mr. Chilembo said.

He urged the 2023 winners NFCA Mine to prepare adequately for the International Mine Rescue Competition and showcase what Zambia could offer in terms of mine rescue services.

Zambia Mines Rescue (ZMR) president Mr. Abraham Kachonka said mine rescue teams had saved hundreds of thousands from injuries and had become the symbol of hope for millions of people all over the world.

Mr Kachonka commended the mine rescue teams for the commitment and exceptional performance they had been showing whenever called upon to render the much-needed service in times of distress within and outside the mining industry.

In other categories, Lubambe Mine rescue teams C and A were awarded the best teams in firefighting drills and field events respectively while NFCA won the best team in first aid drills and mine rescue skills operational area.

Lubambe Copper Mine Team C scooped the 3rd position

For individual wards, the following brigades’ men were awarded:

  • Best Workload Test Time – Namakando Newton from Lubambe Mine
  • Best Oxygen Consumption – Haggai Chibwe from Mopani Copper Mines, Mufulira
  • Best Team Captain – Desmond Mututubanya from NFCA
  • Best Team Vice Captain – Moses Keta from CNMC Luanshya Copper Mine
  • Best Brigades man in Theory – Felix Salanga from NFCA

Captain of the winning team from NFCA, Desmond Mututubanya said his team was were well prepared for the competition and trained hard.

Best Team Captain awarded to Desmond Mututubanya from NFCA

“We were always at the tail end ever since we started participating in this competition, but we told ourselves that we could do it this year as we were well prepared. We thank Mr. Dean Mwelwa, Manager Safety, Health and Environment and the entire NFCA management for the evergreen support towards mine rescue services and their commitment towards a safe working environment. We will not rest but continue to work hard so that we represent Zambia and Africa outstandingly at the International Mines Rescue Competition to be held in Columbia, next year,” Mr. Mututubanya said.


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