(ZANIS)-Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe says over 1000 First Quantum Mine(FQM) workers will be re-deployed to the new Nickel Mine, a project under FQM, when it merges with Kansanshi Mine.
Mr Kabuswe says this is in order to reduce the number of workers who will be laid-off following the on-going merger of the two mines.
And Mr. Kabuswe said the government is engaging Kansanshi and First Quantum Mine to look at ways of reducing the number of workers that may be laid-off as the two mines merge.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Kitwe today, Mr. Kabuswe said the merging of the two mines will result in duplication of some jobs which will ultimately lead to offloading of some workers.
He said the government is engaging Kansanshi Mine to ensure that some workers can be re-deployed to other projects being run by Kansanshi mines to reduce the number of workers who will be laid-off.
“The reorganization taking place is to merge First Quantum and Kansanshi into one single unit and so when you have operations that could have two positions may be one in Ndola and another in Solwezi and because they are being merged, in the process some positions could be a duplication of others and the excess could be declared redundant,” He said.
And National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) president Saul Simujika said there is need to ensure that no worker is laid-off as the two mining companies merge.
Mr. Simujika said laying-off workers now will be defeating the government’s efforts of creating jobs in a bid to reduce poverty.
He noted that the owners of Kansanshi Mine also own Kalumbila mine, a situation he said should easily allow for redeployment of some workers to Kalumbila mine instead of laying them off.
“We will be meeting the management of Kansanshi and First Quantum mines over the matter, our aim is to ensure that if there will be anyone going, it must be very minimal numbers and in any case our belief is that FQM Limited, the owners of Kansanshi and FQM are the owners of Kalumbila so there are those options where they can take people, because with this desire by government to create jobs, and then we start losing jobs in that manner it means that we are taking some steps backwards,” Mr. Simujika said.
Last week the government announced the merging of First Quantum Mine and Kansanshi Copper Mine.