Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) should probe the source of the memorandum which instructed the placement of Nchanga Underground Mine and part of Nkana refinery on care and maintenance, the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has demanded.
MUZ president Nkole Chishimba said the memo should not be taken lightly, but investigated thoroughly because it was such an elaborate briefing that the union could not accept that it was unofficial.
Mr Chishimba was reacting to a memo which KCM allegedly produced and later withdrew regarding the placement of Nchanga Underground Mine and part of Nkana on care and maintenance.
According to the memo addressed to the employees, KCM stated; “This information must be communicated to all staff by Friday 31st July 2015. This includes: All KCM employees and contractors.
‘‘KCM Plc has been informed by Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) that electricity power supply will be reduced up to 30 per cent. As a result of the power reduction, KCM has decided as follows:
“To place Nchanga underground operations on care and maintenance, scale down on the Nkana refinery operations. The above measures are with immediate effect until further notice,” read part of the memo which KCM is alleged to have produced and later withdrew.
Apart from withdrawing the memo, KCM manager for public relations and communications Shapi Shacinda claimed the memo was unofficial.
Mr Shachinda said in a statement yesterday that it was not true that KCM had also scaled down operations at the Nkana refinery and that the company operations would remain open and production was continuing.
Media reports yesterday were to the effect that KCM had suspended its Nchanga mine underground operations because of Zesco electricity outages and that about 3000 jobs were to be lost but Mr Shachinda said the report was based on unofficial memorandum that circulated in the company on Friday.
Mr Shachinda said the memorandum which was being quoted was not officially sanctioned and could not therefore represent the position of KCM.
“Contrary to media reports that KCM had suspended its underground operations at Nchanga mine due to power outages and abot 3000 jobs were on the line, KCM wishes to clarify that it has not made a decision to close the Nchanga underground mine operations nor to scale down its operations at the Nkana refinery. No worker has been laid off and no contract has been terminated. The basis of the media stories circulating was an unofficial memo circulating in the company early on Friday morning. This memo has no official sanction from within the company,” Mr Shachinda said.
He stated that the implications of the electricity outages were still unclear and that KCM was in close consultations with the Copperbelt Energy Corporation and the Government.