Mine workers in one of the Zambian Mines on the Copper belt
Mine workers in the Copper belt

About 600 direct employees of Mopani Copper Mines at Mindola North and Central shafts will be laid off following Mopani’s announcement to close the two shafts.

And 1500 contractors to be affected by the closure of the two shafts.

Speaking at a joint media briefing in Kitwe, Mine Workers Union of Zambia President Joseph Chewe said Mopani Copper Mines has informed the three unions in the mining sector and the Zambian government of its plan to shut down its two mine shafts citing high operation costs.

Mr. Chewe said the closure of the two shafts will affect over 1500 contractors.

He said the union is sad that retrenchments have become the order of the day.

Mr. Chewe noted that Mopani has indicated to the unions that the closure of the two shafts will be done in phases from June to October 2019.

The MUZ President said he is disappointed that from the time Mopani took over operations of the mines on the Copperbelt in 2003, the company has laid off thousands of workers through voluntary separation and retrenchment.

“The company has told us that 600 will be affected if they don’t find areas to deploy them. This also means that contractors will also have to go. According to our sources about 1500 contractors will be affected by the shafts closure,” Mr Chansa said.

At the same briefing, National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) President James Chansa said the unions will not be part of Mopani’s decision to lay off workers.

Mr Chansa said investment at the expense of workers is not good as it will disadvantage Zambians working in the mines.

He said the Unions will not allow the mining company to cut workforce.

And United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) Wisdom Ngwira suggested that said the 600 workers affected should be deployed to other areas within the company.

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28 COMMENTS

    • ZCCM-IH and IDC needs to immediately reposes the two shafts and rehire the miners. Mopane has failed, we take over and all operations with proceeds from these two shafts go to ZCCM-IH and IDC. It’s hallelujah time, time to get back what was stolen from us.

      Before these guys came in we owned these mines and ZCCM was the World’s largest conglomerate with dual listings in London and New York; that’s when copper prices were low.

      Copper is a premium product now with high demand from electric car, cell phone, TV and all electronic manufacturers. Let’s show these guys what the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise are capable of doing.

      Epo mpelele,

      BRM

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    • @ B R Mumba
      Sometimes its best to keep quiet when you don’t know what you talking about.

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    • THE CHINESE WOULD NEVER CLOSE A SHAFT. INSTEAD THEY ARE OPENING NEW SHAFTS IN CHAMBISHI.
      SELL THE TWO SHAFTS TO THE CHINESE.
      THE MINERS WOULD HAVE TO ACCEPT LOWER SALARIES : OUCH

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  1. You cant have a govt comprised of people like Kampyongo.bowman.

    21st century you need brain power not physic

    Bring back clive chirwa to stand on upendi.

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    • If so why did Anglo ditch KCM under Mwanawasa and how and why did Mwanawasa sell KCM to Indians at a salaula price and on credit. You are not dealing with kids here but sophisticated fraudsters. Mistake was made when we decided to sell the mines. Very soon someone will want to buy the closed shafts and this someone will be no other than the same Mopani under a different name. And in our desperation we will again give away the property cheaply. And the cycle continues.

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  2. Where are the Economists and Financial experts in Zambia please? Its really sad to see the country being held to ransom by the mi e owners when we can all clearly see that the international mineral prices are very attractive? Where is the problem? Bakateka, take leave, go and do a serious economic introspection and come and shake up things. At least hold one press conference to outline what you have achieved so far, what you are doing and where you are planning to achieve between now and 2021. Make changes at various governance levels. We are behind you.

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  3. Well chaps, with trump on the warpath wrecking havoc on global economy , if PF and lungu did not build self reliance and resilience in the economy with the $17 billion, you are in deep sh.it…..

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  4. Correction Mr Chewe, Mopani bought Nkana in 1999 not 2003. However when you deal with the so called investors, this what you get. Government should always have a bigger presence in ventures like the mines, otherwise they will keep on shifting goal posts. Next we shall see another investor “expressing ” interest in the closed shafts. ….this is how these people run away from their responsibilities. The mine was closed following accidents and recommendations made. Is this just mere coincidence or the company can’t accommodate the recommendations? Most likely they feel implementing new safety measures will add to the costs.

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  5. The IMF told Kaunda that the mines were no longer viable and the government would be better off by selling them. Kaunda thought mm? How can someone buy something that is not viable? He didn’t sell. FTJ in his quest to dismantle anything to do with Kaunda didn’t bother to ask WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO BUY SOMETHING THAT’S NOT VISIBLE. He sold the mines and the buyers made money and left, came back under different names etc.

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    • @ 8 Ndanje Khakis, your point is valid Chiluba had a personal agenda to make money for himself that’s why he was selling the mines. One of the most crooks we have had running the government was Chiluba, yes how do you sell what’s not viable. IMF is a business making money they knew why they told the Government of Kaunda and later Chiluba to sell the mines, like you said Kaunda refused but Chiluba fall for it because he saw an opportunity to make money for himself and those who surrounded him. All these are bunch of thieves.

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  6. Government should immediately send soldiers to surround these shafts. Nothing should go out, not even a nail, laptop, nothing should be allowed out.

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  7. Ndanje mining is not easy and it comes with risks, you sold those mines so as to pass the risks to someone else, which you did and those people are no longer able to continue that’s why you were told to diversify your economy. Copper became unreliable and don’t expect these clowns in power without business minds to succeed if you repossess those mines

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    • In short you are saying we’re dunderheads? We are useless we can’t do the job? I’m on my way to the farm and once there I will try to engage you in further discussion.

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    • There is no easy business bwana. The point is we have run these mines in the past successfully with all black Zambians in charge. Surely we can to that even now. We don’t need cowards. We have a lot of experts in mining in Zambia

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    • @Please explain to us what is so complex about mining that a Zambian can’t do. Your fellow blacks in RSA own mines. Your government, because it has the same mentality like yours refused to sell the mines to a Zambian group called Kafue Consortium without giving any reason at all. Who knows if this company had bought the mines Zambia would be able to keep most of the forex earned by the company.

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  8. Where is ZCCM IH what is there role in the economy. I was surprised to learn that they has an oil block and sold it to Nigerians. Why should we have so much debt yet we have enough natural resources to mine and raise money to boost the economy. Look at the Gold being plundered in Lundazi by foreigners engaging locals? why cant ZCCM IH wake up and buy machinery to start mining the Gold at commercial level. Why can ZCCM IH, find equity partners and open new mines instead of waiting for the 20%. Hon Musukwa, the ball is in your hands.

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  9. @ 1.2 B R Mumba, Sr. I’m always disappointed by your comments. If ZCCM was doing well before Mopani, why did they need Mopani to take over? You have been in a four cornered Room ( A classroom) you should know well but you choose to comment rubbish old man. Stop being a Cadre and face facts. Zambia is run by dogs in the government. @ 11 Albert you have a good and valid point, not this B R Mumba Sr my foot.

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