ABOUT 170 miners at Chambishi Metals PLC have been placed on three months recess following the suspension of operations at the cobalt and refinery plants because the company has not been receiving enough stocks of material from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Both Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President Nkole Chishimba and Kalulushi district commissioner (DC) Kampamba Mulenga confirmed this yesterday.
They said the affected mine workers would be placed on recess for the next three months.
Mr Chishimba said the cobalt and refinery plants at Chambishi Metals Plc had been closed because the company has not been receiving stocks from DRC to treat at the two plants.
“The company has decided to put 170 workers on recess. This should not be described as retrenchment.To our members, this is not forced leave. When a company is faced with temporary suspension of operations, workers are put on recess with full enjoyment of emoluments and other conditions of service, except circumstantial benefits like standby allowances and overtime,” Mr Chishimba said.
Mr Chishimba, who is also Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president, said MUZ had since dispatched a team to go and discuss how the recess would be managed.
Following the introduction of the 2015 tax regime for the mining sector, some mine owners have complained about the mineral royalty taxes.
Zambia Chamber of Mine president Jackson Sikamo has suggested that the Government reinstate the 2014 fiscal regime.
The 2014 fiscal regime included 6 percent mineral tax, 30 percent company tax and 15 percent value added tax.
In October 2014, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda proposed to redesign the mining fiscal regime by replacing the current two tier system with a simplified mining tax structure which saw an 8 percent mineral royalty for underground mining operations and 20 percent mineral royalty for open cast mining operations as a final tax.
This was effective January this year.