Chibuluma South Mine in Lufwanyama on the Copperbelt will be closed in 2021 because the ore body at the mine has depleted. The closure of the mine will see over 850 direct and indirect jobs being lost at the Chinese owned mine.
Company Board Chairman and Country Manager JACKSON SIKANO says chibuluma South Mine currently has an ore body of one point three million tons of copper in reserves with an ore body grade of two point five percent.
Mr. Sikamo has further disclosed that the mine has been making loses since 2015. He added that in 2015 alone the firm made a 31 point 6 million United States dollars. The development has forced the mine to scale down its production and labour force.
Mr Sikamo disclosed this when Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma visited the mine. He added that Chibuluma Mine although operating under difficulties has managed to pay over 268 million United States dollars in form of taxes to the Treasury in the last 20 years.
And Mr Yaluma has assured the Metorex run mine that government will offer the firm a new green field. Mr Yaluma is impressed that despite the challenges that the firm is facing it has proved to a good mining firm.
Meanwhile, CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines Chief Executive Officer Wang Chunlai has said that the firm cannot give a salary hike to its workers because it is facing financial challenges.
Mr Wang said that a salary increment this year is unattainable saying the company is almost bankrupt. Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Wang said that the firm is even considering filing for bankruptcy because it is borrowing money from China.
And Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma who pleaded with management to consider the plight of the workers, said management should find a way of motivating its workers.
Mr Yaluma said commodity prices have gone up and the mine must bail out its workers through a decent pay rise. Two weeks ago, hundreds of Luanshya Copper Mines workers went on a two day work stoppage to press for a 25 percent salary hike.
National Union of Miners and Allied Workers Deputy General Secretary Steven Mwaanga, who is chairing the negotiations, says talks have reached a deadlock as management has refused to honour the 25 percent salary increment proposed by the unions.