Canada’s First Quantum Minerals said on Wednesday that a strike at its flagship Zambian copper mine was illegal.
Workers at the Kansanshi mine, Zambia’s largest copper mine which produced 231,000 tonnes of the red metal in 2010, downed tools on Tuesday demanding 100 percent pay rises and bringing production to a halt.
“There was no deadlock reached and as far as we are concerned this strike is illegal,” company spokesman Godfery Msiska told Reuters.
“There is nothing happening even today because the workers have blocked off the gate to the mine plant and everything is at a standstill.”
Msiska said union officials should convince the workers to go back to work so that negotiations, which had been suspended because of the strike, could resume.