Job losses as KCM suspends operations

Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines has suspended production at its Chingola openpit mine after the expiry of the contract with its Brazilian mining partner, the company said on Thursday.

Konkola, owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources, contracted Brazil’s U&M Mining in 2009 to help it to mine two areas of the Chingola mine for both waste and copper ore over a period of three years.

“The contractor U&M’s contract expired on December 31, 2012, and terms have not been agreed for the renewal of the contract,” Konkola said in a statement.

Konkola added that management will explore options for the operation of the pit and that former U&M employees would be given priority for engagement when mining resumes.

Konkola also operates the Nchanga open pit as well as Konkola copper mine and is developing the Konkola Deep Copper Project (KMDP) under plans to raise copper output to 400 000 tonnes, from 200 000 tonnes in 2012, over the next few years.

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