Zambian mining company Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), owned by London-listed metals and mining group Vedanta Resources, has announced plans to lay off 2,000 employees in order to restore profits, Lusaka Times reported. KCM has said that the price of copper on the world market has been steadily declining, by 22% in the last year, and macro-economic trends suggested it would remain depressed. On the other hand, KCM’s labour and electricity costs have been growing. KCM currently employs 8,263 people in Zambia, which is the biggest copper producing nation in Africa.
The announced job cuts may spark labour unrest. Zambia’s Labour Ministry has initiated consultations with KCM management and mine unions in an effort to mitigate the impact of the planned layoffs. Consultations would continue this week.
KCM operates two mines at Nchanga, comprising an underground mine and four open pits, the Nchanga Smelter, Konkola Mine, Nkana Refinery and the Nampundwe pyrite mine.
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