KCM shuts Underground mine, 2500 lose jobs

CHINGOLA, 26 November 2015, today Konkola Copper Mines announced that it is placing the Nchanga underground mine (NUG) in Chingola under managed care and maintenance with effect from Friday, 27th November 2015.

The decision to place NUG on a managed Care and Maintenance programme was arrived at on Wednesday, 25th November 2015 after close consultation and dialogue with the three trade unions that represent KCM employees. The unions and KCM prepared a joint announcement about the basis for this decision, which is attached to this release.

Over the last year, the price of copper has fallen from around $6,500 per tonne to $4,500 per tonne which is the lowest since 2009. In the light of the declining prices, KCM has been reviewing its operations and the NUG was highlighted as a loss making asset which, if allowed to continue, would result into the business losing $30–$40 million over the next year. In view of the fore going, the decision to place NUG under Care and Maintenance has been made in order to protect the financial viability of the whole KCM business.

All contracting firms operating at NUG will be released. This will impact on 1,675 of their employees immediately and a further 825 over the next three months. All pensionable KCM employees and permanent staff from the Nchanga underground will be redeployed within the business.

During the period of managed care and maintenance KCM will conduct a technical review to evaluate the best way to bring the operations back into production when market conditions improve.

Issued by
Shapi Shachinda
Manager Public Relations & Communications

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