Monday, December 16, 2013

KCM to retrench 1,529 workers
By Darious Kapembwa in Kitwe
Sat 02 Nov. 2013, 14:00 CAT

KONKOLA Copper Mines has announced plans to outplace over 1,500 employees as the mining giant pursues a mechanization programme for all its operations.

At a press briefing in Kitwe yesterday, KCM chief executive officer Kishor Kumar said current productivity at eight tonnes per year per employee compared to global norms of 100 tonnes was unsustainable.

"This is due to the fact that KCM Nchanga operations are still using the costly conventional methods of mining compared to mechanised mining which most of our global peers have adopted. In the continuing restructuring of our operations, KCM is moving towards mechanisation and automation of all its operations to ensure efficiency and higher productivity," Kumar said. "The resultant changes may affect upward of 1,529 members of our staff, through labour outplacement."

Kumar said KCM would follow a well structured process to minimize the impact on the affected employee.

Asked what he meant by following a structured process, Kumar he could not categorically answer.

Asked what he meant by labour outplacement, Kumar explained that it was a restructuring process and that some employees not relevant to the current mining operations would be laid off.

He also said the number would gradually increase after 2017.

Further asked whether government was aware of its plans, Kumar said ZCCM-IH was on the KCM board and were a key stakeholder who were well aware of the process.

"So government is well aware of this operation," he said.
He said government was aware the lifespan of Nchanga is coming to an end in 2016.

Konkola mine in Chililabombwe has 280 million of copper ore to last about 25 to 30 years.
A couple of months ago KCM was forced to shelve plans to retrench about 2000 people owing to low productivity and high operational costs.

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