Hundreds lose jobs as Kalumbila Minerals shuts sentinel plant due to load shedding

Solwezi based Kalumbila Minerals Limited has closed its Sentinel plant due to power deficit from Zesco Limited being experienced at the mine.

But government has maintained that load shedding would not affect the mins or gross National Product (GDP).

“The Sentinel plant has been closed since Monday, July 27, 2015 due to power shortage from Zesco Limited,” mine public relations co-ordinator Miriam Harmon said in a statement yesterday.

On Friday, KCM documents showed that the mining giant was putting its Nchanga underground mine on care and maintenance. See here
Kalumbila mine was opened last year and engages in mining and exploration of Copper, Cobalt, Nickel, Uranium, and Iron Ore.

Just a week ago, Kalumbila mine was sure it would create more than 1500 jobs.

Kalumbila Minerals Limited general manager Damien Marantelli said the mine would create more than 1,500 direct jobs at full production. According to Marantelli, more jobs would be created through support services by contractors as well as investors in the new Kalumbila town, where 500 housing units, out of 600 built by the mine, have been occupied. He told a special Solwezi District Coordinating Committee meeting headed by acting district commissioner Chipawa Chipawa on Friday that Kalumbila was progressively commissioning different sections of the mine, including in-pit crushers, ore conveyors to the processing plant and power connection. Marantelli said the $2.1 million mine, which is expected to produce between 280,000 and 300,000 tonnes of copper per annum, had so far stockpiled 6,000 tonnes of copper concentrate processed using on-site power sources in the first two quarters of 2015. He also explained that Kalumbila mine would occupy huge areas because of wide excavations as it had low copper grade at 0.5 per cent. Marantelli (right) said the mining operation would require to process up to ten times more ore to obtain a tonne of copper compared to other mines on the Copperbelt. And assistant general manager Tristan Pascall said Kalumbila would use as much local labour  as possible, provided it was sufficiently skilled to operate latest mining methods at the mine. “We are committed to Zambia and we want this to work,” said Pascall.

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