September 4, 2015 / 11:39 AM / 2 years ago

Zambia Vedanta unit sends 133 workers on forced paid leave

LUSAKA, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc has asked 133 employees to stay away from work on full pay while the company undertakes a review of the operations, its chief executive said on Friday.

Zambia’s largest mining union said on Tuesday that thousands of mine workers faced job losses due to falling copper prices and the shortage of electricity that has his the country.

KCM’s Chief Executive Steven Din said in a statement that the global copper industry was experiencing difficulties and the firm’s aim was to return to profitability.

“There is the possibility of the positions involved being made redundant but this will not be done until all options have been fully evaluated,” he said about the affected workers.

In 2013, KCM was forced to reverse a plan to lay off 1,500 workers after the government threatened that it would revoke the company’s license if it went ahead with the retrenchments.

China’s NFC Mining on Wednesday shut down some of its operations at its Zambian copper mine due to power supply problems, a trade union said. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia)

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