Mopani Copper Mines Plc has laid off a total of 131 employees, including 15 expatriates, who were made redundant as a result of the closure of the Central and North Shafts.

Confirming the development, sources familiar with the situation on the ground revealed that the total number who parted company with the Glencore-owned mining unit was 131 by the end of last month, triggered by the closure of the Central and North Shafts, including 122 who were made redundant, together with 15 expats.

“210 are the people Mopani laid off instead of the initial 615 that were initially affected by the Central and North Shaft closure. Beyond 122, we also have one early retirement case at the Central Shaft and we also have eight voluntary separation, they applied to leave. So, if the media was to be factual, they should’ve reported that, Mopani is effecting the retrenchment of 122 at the month-end of October. So, if you add eight, plus one, plus 122, the actual number is 131,” sources said.

“And if you link it to the redundancies, only 122 are going as a result of redundancies. But if you link it the closure of the North Shaft, then, yes, you can talk about 131. 15 expatriates have already been laid off; they’ve already been given their letters and packages.”

The former Mopani employees were also settled their dues at the point of separation with the mining company, sources said.

“We’ve had these agreements with the unions and government over a period of time and it was already agreed. So, if you get your letter (of separation) at 10.00, by 10.01, the money is in your account. So, everyone who has been made redundant has already been paid in full,” explained the sources.

“Mopani effected redundancies in August, this year, and that was after we had followed the required procedure; we gave due notice, engaged all the stakeholders…So, the number to go at that time was about 360. Then after our mitigating factors and whatever, we arrived at 210; these 210 were the people who were supposed to go under redundancy. So, out of this, 88 were for Mindola North; 122 were for Central Shaft. So, we prepared the letters and everyone was supposed to go, including those for Central Shaft.”