GOVERNMENT has constituted a team of forensic auditors to determine whether Nchanga underground mine was indeed not viable when it was placed under care and maintenance by the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
The decision by KCM management will consequently result in loss of 1,675 jobs and a further 825 over the next three months.
But Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said Government believed that Nchanga underground mine was still viable and accused the investor of only being interested in already mined ore rather than exploration, development and production.
Briefing the press yesterday, Mr Kambwili warned the mining firm that should investigations to be conducted by the team of forensic auditors prove that the allegations were true, Government would ask the investor to write a letter of abandonment.
He said after repossessing the mine, Government would hand it over to other interested investors.
Mr Kambwili said Government believed that Nchanga underground mine was viable and suspected the investor of being interested only in already mined ore rather than exploration, development and production.
He said Government was disturbed by reports that the investor had dumped the mining of ore in preference for treating ore from waste dump sites OB 16 and 12 and from other mines.
“Government, therefore, wishes to assure the nation that investors will not be allowed, under its watch, to unnecessarily and wantonly lay off workers,” he said.
Mr Kambwili said appealed to the affected employees to remain calm while investigations were going on.