Konkola Copper Mines has shut down operations at number 1 shaft, which was being mined by Master Mine Services, saying the company had failed to source for funds to pay workers.

KCM has since written to the redundant workers who have been placed on forced leave.

Master Mining Company is a Chinese mining contractor that was contracted to mine KCM’s No.1 Shaft also called No.4 Shaft Complex.

This is according to a memorandum addressed to all employees and signed by KCM assistant Human Resource Manager DC Musonda and Master Mine Service project manager Ma Yun Liang dated March 11, 2019.

“We wish to inform all our employees that in the last few months, KCM has not been able to pay Master Mine Services according to the conditions of the contract. As a result, KCM is owing the company huge amounts of money. Thus, it has become difficult for the company to continue running the project. Management made several efforts to sustain the operations through borrowing from banks, shareholders and other Chinese companies,” the memo ready in part.

“However, the company is not able to source any more funds to sustain the project. Therefore, operations at Master Mine Service-KCM project have been suspended until further notice, only selected employees for care and maintenance will continue reporting for work.”

The memo further states that after the end of the period workers would be put on forced leave.

“During this period, employees will proceed on leave according to the accrued leave days. Upon exhausting the accrued leave days, an employee will automatically be placed on forced leave (unpaid leave) in the event that operations do not resume.”