FRANCISTOWN: Diesel Power Mining Company, a contractor at African Copper Mine, has effected another round of job cuts.
Diesel Power’s Business Improvement Manager, Humphrey Chitima confirmed the latest job losses that have affected 26 workers in an interview with BusinessWeek.
The retrenchment follows African Copper’s closure of its Thakadu Mine at Matsitama village in May this year where 75 Diesel Mining employees lost their jobs. In February 2014, Diesel Power Mining Company won the 52-month contract to do mining activities at African Copper’s Thakadu and Mowana mines.
“We are subcontracted to do mining for African Copper Mine (ACM) and if the mine is not doing well like it has been, this affects us,” said Chitima. He went on to disclose that the decline in copper prices together with Thakadu mine closure have affected them badly as there was a decrease in production thus forcing them to retrench some of their employees. Chitima, however, said their 52-month contract with African Copper is still effective and they will remain with 119 employees to do mining at Mowana mine. “The thing that worries us is the international copper prices, which have been on the downturn for some time now,” he said. He said the current plant at Mowana mine is expected to run up until December 2016 saying they are hoping that things would improve so that the situation should not affect their production.
“If things can improve then we might look at increasing the number of our employees, but if it does not then we will continue holding on with the number of employees we have,” said Chitima. Early this year, African Copper announced that it might not be able to continue operating Mowana and Thakadu mines if copper prices do not improve. Copper prices have not been stable since 2008.