President Edgar Chagwa Lungu with management and staff at First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila, along with dignitaries including Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon. Richard Musukwa (left), and FQM Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli (second right) and Sentinel Mine General Manager Morris Rowe.

The Mine Workers Union of Zambia -MUZ has described plans by Kalumbila Copper Mine to lay off over 1-thousand workers as premature and unnecessary.

MUZ President Joseph Chewe says the announcement of job cuts at KALUMBILA Copper Mine, citing a tax regime that will come in effect next year is premature.

Mr. Chewe says mines should not rush to announce job cuts whenever there is a change in the economy but should instead find ways of increasing production considering the new tax regime.

He also notes that Kalumbila Mine did not engage any stakeholder including his union in arriving at this decision of laying off workers.

Mr. Chewe has further called on the mines to refrain from the habit of using workers as a bargain tool whenever they reach an impasse with government adding that threats such as job cuts reduce on the workers productivity.

The Union leader has called on government to exercise decisiveness in dealing with issues that surround looming job cuts in the mining sector as more mining houses are likely to announce job cuts owing to the new tax regime.

On Friday, Kalumbila Copper Mines in Solwezi, North Western Province, notified Government of its decision to lay off over 1-thousand miners due to the proposed new mining tax regime.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a business decision and not charity work!
    It’s Shareholders pumping money into the operation and expecting a fair return on their investment!
    Try to pull your muscle against the mines and it’s your kwacha and economy that will get its balls squeezed!
    Why not buy shares into these mines and benefit from dividend payments? Remember that high Fuel and Electricity Costs in Zambia make our mines less competitive and any mention of additional costs of doing business like Rental Charges (Royalties) reduce the viability of low grade mines especially those in NWP! We have to mine 10 tones of Ore to make 1 tone of Copper concentrate and that’s huge costs in Fuel and Electricity for every hour of the operation! Be sobber and reasonable and understand basics of mining business!

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    • When GRZ introduces Taxes on the citizens, the citizens cry and say GRZ is suffocating them with Taxes. Why do you complain? Don’t the mines have the right to complain?
      Do you understand that Mines in General run on borrowed money which they have to pay back to the shareholders with returns? If only GRZ could run like a business, then they would not have over employed! The numbers mines employ are justified by the viability of the business! If the cost of doing business goes up, the mine business becomes less viable and the cost structure must be addressed and the first cost is the employee!

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    • Stop exposing your ignorance iwe. 1 ton of copper conetrate per 10 tons of ore. Gather facts before you start typing those figures not just because you have internet connection.

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    • Help, help …
      reduce the viability of low grade mines especially those in NWP! We have to mine 10 tones of Ore to make 1 tone of Copper concentrate and that’s huge costs in Fuel and Electricity for every hour of the operation!

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  2. what do you expect, when the government wants a salary value of 1000 employees from the same mine. should they maintain a duplicate payroll or lay off the weak ones?.

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  3. Soon as action is done Dr ck will go there with hh and give govt 48hr to reinstate.

    Why don’t they support what muz and govt are saying today

    Playing politics with people’s lives.

    In my view there is nothing wrong with pruning workers. What do upendi cadres say

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  4. This is a government failing to fail its local government workers and facilitate parastatals. So what now? You have a Ministry of Social Security!! Use it while you try to figure out how to enable that mine continue operating. Increase your shareholding (but at your peril), reduce costs of doing business (feasible, especially if you get rid of useless middlemen) and other measures. FFS stop playing politics with peoples lives! Ifyabupuba lyonse! And stop posing for pictures at private companies!

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  5. It’s a ploy to hold Govt at ransom so that they reverse the good decision on the new tax measures. Ignore them and go ahead with the implementation of the new tax measures please, in order to benefit the majority of poor Zambians.

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  6. Who will blink first? Kalumbila won’t even go to the extent of laying off workers. They know that our MUZ, the minister of labor and others out there are just a bunch of spineless dunderheads.

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  7. Mining is business like any other. If costs increase, profits will reduce. If this equation is not balanced, the mine will start making lossses and eventually close.
    In order to keep this equation balanced, you have to reduce on your expenses. These might include reducing the labour amount because it is the most flexible in the production function. This is done all over the world. Even to employ that number of workers who are currently working, no one instructed the mines. It was based on the production function. They can even employ more than that without instructing them. If you want to see how this works, just go and hire every maid who has been fired and employ them in your house.

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  8. The reason miners are being treated like this is that you the labour leaders are divided, most are greedy for money and easily get compromised. But I know Joseph Chewe is a bulldozer, he can’t be bought. It’s a long time since miners went on strike. If they prune 1 declare a work stoppage across the board, then they’ll behave. Can you also sort out the slave wages at Dangote?

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    • Wages can only increase when the Business is making profits! If the employees are lazy and absent from work most of the time, which is typical of the Zambian labourer in general, why should their Salary be increased? We must change this Zambian mindset of wholesale demands of salary increments! Salary increment should only be given to productive employees! If you reward hard workers the same as the unproductive ones, then your business won’t last and to turn things around, fire your Human Resource Manager! We don’t engage in business for charity but for Profits! It’s Profits that look after the People otherwise you can as well close shop!

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  9. No flip floping…No reversing New tax system,workers always used as a bargaining too.
    This is nonsense and should stop..Pay or leave period

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  10. Mmm but how many times per year does this govt announce new taxes only to quietly forget about it for few months before starting again? As if memory span in Zambia is about 6 months. Clueless, just sort out a mining system that works, as many other countries have done, and don’t change every time coming from tarven with “new” ideas

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  11. There are a lot of unproductive civil servants who spend much of there time sleeping in offices,, majority of the Civil servants are unproductive but how do they get paid?? The government has increased the Taxes because the cost of living and doing business in Zambia has gone up, which is as a result of overborowing services from China, when you borrow services instead of money the law of multiplier has no effect cause the money will go back to China through the services lenderd,, People have fallen culprits because of a corapt regim,, instead of eniciate a favourable atmosphere to do business so that you increase on your tax base due to higher numbers of employees,, the government has enitiated taxes to the atmosphere which are unfavorable for business hence reduction on tax base,,

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  12. Country men and women, you won’t see that extra tax money from the mines because your leaders will pocket all of it!
    First demand accountability and controlled expenditure from your leaders, then you will have lesser lower taxes and enough resources to equitably redistribute! Expecting to overtax ourselves to prosperity is like standing in a busket and expecting to lift lift ourselves! The best way to make money out of mines is not to heavily tax them but to participate in their running so that you understand fully what it takes to run mines! GRZ should buy shares in mines! GRZ has little say in mines that have 100% foreign ownership except only in matters of taxes which the politicians pocket!

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  13. Why can’t they just go and leave our land undistorted with life threatening dams…government should not succumbe to there filth tricks…it’s time to show them serious attitude towards what belongs to us….we can’t stand seeing them beautifying and strengthening their economy using our resources…..infact the tax is too low they should be adjusted again.

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    • Which land is yours? You get royalties and spend it on other provinces and neglect the pipo where the copper comes from. FQM are right. They are a business not an NGO. Why don’t your kindred open mines and see if they will survive with these taxes as a business. After all northwestern is not evening benefiting from revenue the mines pay this pf govt.

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  14. If you think what they are paying in taxes is too low, why don’t you open up a mine yourself and pay a little more higher than them in order for you to serve as an example or set a standard? When these people leaves today your kwacha will not be able to buy even the basic medicine like panadol in hospitals.

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  15. Just lay them off so they can go and join the ranks of jerabos so that government can say we have created 1000 jobs.

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  16. Zambians have short memory. Zccm was run by Zambians but it collapsed within a short time. Mine officials were just busy buying lates vehicle models etc . Miners were even given amatebela for having a baby. I don’t want to go back to such nonsense

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  17. I have worked in the mining industry close to 40 years both in parastatal and private mines. Although the labour component in the cost of production can be anywhere between 15- 30% (depending on whether it is an underground mine and/ or is an oxide or sulphide deposit), the idea of labour cuts is not always based on this fact. In the private companies the labour cuts are found to be the most effective tool for bargaining with the government, because it is the Zambians who are affected due to the job losses who fight the Zambian government on behalf of the investors especially during the election time. The idea is to let the Zambians fight on behalf of the investors. In most cases the government gives in to the investors due to pressure from the Zambians. Also note that the job cuts most…

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  18. I support FQM on this one. They are not an NGO , they are a business. Which investor would come and make losses on your behalf. These stupid taxes are as a result of looting and stealing in govt and now they want the mines to pay. Probably this pf wants to frustrate FQM and bring their Chinese friends. FQM has done a lot for Zambia although the royalties have not benefited the pipo of northwestern prov owing to hatred by pf for the pipo there.

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