SAVE JOBS, STOP MINE CLOSURE, GOVT URGED
By ROGERS KALERO
OVER 3, 000 jobs will be lost at Baluba Mine in Luanshya if the Chinese-owned mining company closes next year, the Mine workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has warned.
MUZ president Joseph Chewe called on Government to intervene into the pending closure of Baluba Mine to save the more than 3, 000 jobs where the owners claimed that they had exhausted all copper reserves, prompting the decision to halt mining operations by the end of next year.
Baluba Mine is CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) largest employer in the district.
CNMC LCM Deputy Chief Executive Officer Robert Kamanga claims that the mining company had exhausted all copper reserves at the mine prompting the decision to halt mining operations by the end of next year.
MUZ President Joseph Chewe said the “New Dawn” government of President Hakainde Hichilema must intervene into the pending closure of Baluba Mine to save the more than 3, 000 jobs at the mine.
Mr Chewe said failure to save the more than 3, 000 jobs at Baluba Mine would bring up old and sad memories of the Roan Antelope Mining Company of Zambia (RAMCOZ) under Binani Investment where thousands of miners lost jobs.
“As a union, we are concerned about the pending closure of the Baluba Mine which has more than 3, 000 miners. We hope the mine will not close because if it closes, it will bring up old memories of RAMCOZ.
“As you know, Luanshya experienced job losses under RAMCOZ. We are appealing to the government to intervene and avert possible job losses. As a union, we are ready to engage government and the mine owners to see how job losses can be averted,” Mr Chewe said.
Mr Chewe said Government and the union have been talking to the mining company for sometime to discuss on how best some jobs can be saved at Baluba Mine and was hoping that such discussions will continue under the “New Dawn” government.
He said MUZ has written to the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Labour to discuss pertinent issues in the mining sector including the issue of Baluba Mines.
“The issue of Baluba Mine is one of the issues which we would like to discuss when we meet the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Labour. We would also like to see how we can address other challenges in the mining sector.
“This is why we have written to the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Labour to discuss pertinent issues in the mining sector including the issue of Baluba Mines,” Mr Chewe said.