KARONGA-(MaraviPost)-Paladin Africa Limited on Friday laid off 22 workers at Kayerekera Uranium Mine in the northern district of Karonga over downturn of the mineral’s market prices.
The development comes following the suspension of production at the mine three years ago with the latest being chopped are 18 Malawians and four expatriate as cutting cost measure.
In a memo released on March 31, 2017 signed by Paladin’s General Manager (operations) Alec Sharland and made available to The Maravi Post, disclosed that the situation was beyond the firm’s control.
The memo reads that due to continued downturn in uranium prices, the company decided to review its activities as cutting costs measure.
The letter further added that some of the jobs would no longer be required since the mine is no longer producing uranium and the company could no longer afford to keep everyone employed.
The company therefore hinted that will maintain the plant and equipment as it awaits resumption of the production once global uranium prices stabilize.
“Those people doing jobs that are no longer required or essential at the moment must unfortunately be retrenched. Against this background, 18 Malawian nationals will be retrenched as of May 30, 2017. The decision has also resulted in the termination of four expatriate employees.
“We are fully understand the implications to the employees’ concerned and emotional stress that results from a decision of this nature. This is not an easy decision. We don’t take it lightly. The payments for employees who are leaving will be generous and will be explained to those concerned in more detail,” concludes Paladin’s memo.
The open financial model and analysis of the Kayelekera mine conducted this year, 2017, discovered that Paladin had lost US$387 million following the suspension of operations.
Since its inception in April 17, 2009, the company had 220 Malawians working at the site when it fully operational but with retrenchment the number will go down to 200 plus now 10 expatriate employees.
Subsequently, in 2014 has been on care and maintenance mode owing to a depressed uranium market coupled with opposition from organizations and individuals concerned over the mine’s tax concessions, operations, adherence to laws and regulations and its potential impact on human and environmental safety.