Job Losses Fuel Tension in Mine Sector

The decision by Mopani Copper Mine to close two shafts is creating tension between citizens of Zambia and government, National Union Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) President James Chansa has charged.

And Police in Kitwe have denied mine unions a permit to hold a peaceful protest against Mopani Copper Mine over plans to close down two shafts, Mindola and Central due to lack of resources to manage them.

Chansa said people are rising up against the current government due to job losses being necessitated by mining firms like Mopani Copper Mine.

He said that despite assurances from Mopani Copper Mine of reducing the number of people to lose jobs from 600 to 252, the move has not settled well with miners.

“We are not going to accept it as a labour movement, this move that Mopani is doing is rendering us the labour movement useless and above all is creating tension between the citizens of Zambia and the government of the day, and this is the reason why the government must partner in stopping Mopani from going ahead, we have a duty to help run this country,” Chansa said.

Speaking earlier, Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) President Joseph Chewe said the labour movement had planned to stage a peaceful protest against Mopani Copper Mines but were shocked to have been denied a permit by police.

Chewe said police did not give reasons as to why the permit to proceed was denied despite indications all was well.

“As a union we said we are not agreement with Mopani on closing of shafts and loss of about 620 jobs about 1,500 contractors, Mopani assured the nation that they will look at the numbers and were willing to dialogue, but they have insisted that they closing shafts,” Chewe said.

“Today we planned that we will protest against Mopani on retrenchments, closing of shafts the police have denied us a permit and we have decided to hold a press briefing, if we don’t talk Mopani may continue to retrench workers, we have said no job losses in the mines, these investments are now leading to job losses,” Chewe added.


  1. P.M

    Economic ores come to an end and if that happens, you close the shaft. There is a cut off grade and if you cant break even…what do you do. In RSA the gold mines were the largest employers in the mining sector and the biggest net contributors to GDP. Today production has droped from a peak of 700 tom to below 200 tons due to among other things depth of mining. In short mines come to an end.

    • Jay Jay

      IDC shall takeover Mopani mines before it becomes a serious threat to jobs and economy of Zambia. Zambians can run the mines. Allow our friends from China and Saudi Arabia to invest in mines, agricuture, hydro and solar projects. Open up the economy to friendly middle eastern, turkey, china and fellow African countries.
      No Indians, No Europeans anymore. Enuff is Enuff.


    Government ex-miners give them potion of land for farming. Mine sector life spiner now is an end. Dont forcing go a head just closed them all. Now is farming.

  3. Hev Rena

    It is clear that the mines are folding up slowly.These mines are becoming uneconomical to run.Most copper ores in these mines is less than 0.5% per ton.ie in a ton you only extract 5kg of copper.We need to diversify right away!

  4. Joshua

    More jobless. and it’s now a load shedding, the high price of meal meal. the working govt indeed, hahahahaha, uko 2021.

  5. Ngandwe Renard

    Double tragedy!!!! Please do some thing to stop job losses in the mining sector.

  6. Agogo

    The mines are a business entity and they make business decisions.It is not for the unions to tell them how to run the mines even when they are not making a profit.Mopani is a South African company with experience in mining and have all the rights to run the mines profitably .If you cannot make profit in business then you apply austerity measures like what the government has done, which is you reduce on expenditure . So unions should support the mining companies, it is a give and take situation.

  7. FGM

    Not even new investors will multiply copper ores. The answer is in diversification to merchanised agriculture industry.

  8. Mumba

    Balatusanga ifwe ubulofwa twalibelela

    • Lembwe

      Awe Lesa fye, ubulofwa salmonella! Ama certificates ema pillow nomba!

  9. Lembwe

    Just dissolve the entire management at Mopani and bring others without any selfish interest! Mopani Copper Mines is another force to reckon with!

  10. Rodgers Chimbulu

    Former President Kaunda always said mining was a wasting asset. MMD and PF governments never took heed. Now we’re reaping the benefits of not planning ahead

  11. Mr point

    Well Zambians gain quick forex from profits from sale of metals now with agriculture it is a mystery agriculture products takes too long for significant percievable gains. it is not all of us who are employed by mines but all of us benefits from the quick profits from sale of metals directly or indirectly Zambia is a baby still needs time to ween look at the selling price of a kwacha to a USA dollar it indicates that the savings in foreign reserves are shrinking perhaps due to low income rates perhaps due to low sales rate of turnovers etc, high consumption rates low investment subsidies and higher expenditure rates interest rates on debts.well God since the solution is not there it implies nobody knows where the problem is in our poor economy we need to research in these inadequates knowledge and skills are powerful tools to success

  12. KAUBAY

    It is difficult to avoid job losses in the mines. Investors are business people and expect rewards. When minerals ores are depleted owner wind up this is known fact. Problem is that in Africa few people benefit from the National resources.

Comments are closed.