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Over 4,700 Zambian miners face lay offs

Staff Writer |
The Zambian government has described a potential move by one of the country’s biggest copper miners to cut over 4,700 workers as an act of blackmail.

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Mopani Copper Mine (MCM) claims Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) power cuts are making it lose over $3 million a day.

The CEC suspended power supply about a week ago, follow MCM’s refusal to pay new tariffs.

MCM now says it may be forced to make workers redundant to enable it to pay for a restoration of electricity to its operations.

However, mining minister David Mabumba told journalists the government would not allow MCM to dismiss workers over the power-supply issue:

"Instead of thinking of retrenching workers, MCM has an option of accepting paying for power using the new revised tariff.

“Alternatively, MCM can offer a payment plan and the CEC will restore electricity to the mine.

"The government considers the action of rushing to lay off workers as a solution to the problem as an act of blackmail which, unfortunately, will not be accepted."

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