A local think tank, the Centre for Trade Policy and Development has projected that the recent wave of job cuts in the mining sector will hit 6,000.
Close to 4,000 jobs at Glencore’s Mopani Mines are on the line while Luanshya’s CNMC Baluba Mine has sent close to 2,000 miners home after it placed the mine on care and maintenance and Konkola Copper Mines last weekend also sent close to 200 miners on forced leave.
Figures from Zambia Revenue Authority show that the mining sector employs over 20,000 people in direct and indirect jobs.
Centre for Trade Policy and Development Executive Director Isabel Mukelabai said the number of miners losing jobs might go up to 6,000.
Mrs Mukelabai said most mining firms are going through challenging times in their operations and that job cuts are inevitable.
She also urged Government to be serious when dealing with the challenges facing the mining sector.
‘That altitude of constantly saying there is nothing wrong when there is something wrong is where the problem begins, we have always advocated that dialogue with the mines is the way,’ Mrs Mukelabai said.
She added, ‘the number of jobs that have been projected to be cut in our perspective could go up to 6,000 because on one hand the industry is talking about high cost of production, challenges with power and challenges with the prices of copper on the global market and several other challenges and they have indicated that because of these issues, it will not be sustainable for them to continue operations in that manner, some of them want to put mines on care and maintenance and people are going to lose jobs in the process.’