FIRST Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM) will trim the workforce at its Bwana Mkubwa mine in Ndola which will be placed under care and maintenance this monthend due to lack of copper ore for processing at the plant.
FQM’s Bwana Mkubwa mine has run out of raw materials which were sourced locally and from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Operations and production manager Scott Andries confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.
“There are no raw materials for processing at the mine. The copper ore has finished, we expect to close the mine by end of this month,” he said.
Mr Andries said the mine has more than 200 workers, some of whom will be laid off while others will remain to carry out the care and maintenance programme.
However, he could not state the number of employees that will be retrenched.
“We are going to lay off some employees and maintain some to carry out care and maintenance of the mine,” he said.
Mr Andries said the company is currently sourcing for raw materials locally to enable it resume activities once proved viable.
He said FQM was undertaking new projects such as the Kulungila where it has embarked on drilling activities in North-Western Province.
Mr Andries said once the Kulungila project is found to be feasible, the company will put up required infrastructure at the would-be mine.
He said the concentrator for processing of copper ore will also be constructed at the site. He said the report on the project will determine whether the processing facilities should be established at Kulungila in North-Western Province or elsewhere.
“If everything goes by our plans, then we will be relocating our production activities nearer to the raw materials,” he said. Mr Andries said the project in North-Western is likely to take three years to be completed. He said the Bwana Mkubwa project took one year six months to be completed.
[Zambia Daily Mail]