FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) will lay off 500 workers at Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila in Solwezi which is under construction.
The Watchdog revealed on Monday that workers would be sent packing this week. See here
FQM’s decision to lay off the workers follows Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA)’s action to place a protection order which halted the construction of the Chisola dam last month.
According to FQM spokesperson John Gladston, the company had been forced to lay off the workers because it could not sustain the current high workforce, while waiting for ZEMA to lift a protection order that had prevented further construction of the Chisola dam.
The mining firm was putting up the dam in the North-Western Province to store sufficient water for use in various processes at the giant mine project.
“The company has been left with no option as employees have not been able to work on the dam while the ZEMA protection order is in force,” Mr Gladston said.
He said the company would soon be serving termination notices to the affected workers “in the coming days.”
Mr Gladston said, however, that FQM was optimistic that dialogue with Government would bring about a speedy resolution to safeguard jobs at the mine.