THE planned commissioning of Mulyanshi copper project in Luanshya may be delayed after casual workers demanding payment for food and decent transport downed tools for four days last week, says company spokesperson Sidney Chileya.
China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Corporation Luanshya Copper Mine (CLM) is developing the US $370 million Mulyanshi copper project expected to be commissioned in the last week of December.
Chileya said African Construction and Trade Ltd, the main building contractor for the mine was currently assessing the impact of the strike on the delivery period for the project planned for 30,000 tonnes per year of finished copper.
“We are trying to see whether the contractor has put in any measures to ensure that our commissioning and delivery of the project is not affected in terms of timeframe because we are targeting the last week of December,” Chileya said in a telephone interview from Luanshya.
“But now if we had a stoppage for four days, then, we are affected. We are trying to see either if it could be pushed forward for commissioning or the contract can put in place some mechanisms to ensure we recover the lost time.”
Chileya said CLM had asked African Construction and Trade Ltd to employ a professional human resources officer and a professional accountant to avoid any future disturbance on the mine expected to produce grade A cathode copper over its 15-year lifespan.
The 1,200 workers downed tools after alleging that two human resource officers and a safety officer were forcibly deducting money from them on behalf of a named ‘shylock’ who had advanced some money to some of them.