Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines shuts down smelter

Construction site of the Mufulira shaft. Image courtesy of Mining for Zambia.

Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) has shut down its Mufulira smelter for major refurbishment, the Glencore-owned company said on Monday.

“The majority of the programme is expected to last until the end of the year and will result in a total shutdown of the plant. The investment in the new shafts will not be impacted,” it said in a statement.

Mopani could not immediately say what impact the shutdown would have on production, which totalled 119,000 tonnes of finished copper in 2018.

It said it had informed the Zambian government and labour unions of its plan would “continue to engage with its stakeholders throughout the refurbishment programme.”

“Employees affected by the shutdown will be re-assigned as appropriate and/or placed on paid leave,” it added, without saying how many workers would be affected. 

(By Chris Mfula; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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