Mopani Copper Mines has with immediate effect shut down the smelter department at Mufulira Mine. The shutdown period was earmarked to take place in 2020 but has been brought forward due to an emergency that has occured.
The special bricks used in the smelter have collapsed and they are being sourced from Austria in Europe. The consignment of these bricks is estimated to arrive in Zambia in about five months time.
The company has since taken remedial measures in terms of its labour at the smelter department where some employees will be deployed to other departments while others will be sent on paid leave. The shut down will last for six months.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Office Mr. Chris Vermeulen will leave Mopani on 31st July 2019. Mr. Vermeulen joined Mopani in July 2013 and has worked for the company for 6 years in various roles. He first worked as Chief Officer Productivity and Efficiency before being promoted as a Chief Operating Officer in 2015. He was later appointed as Mopani Chief Executive Officer in December 2017 a position he holds until he leaves the company.
Mopani has since wished Mr. Vermeulen well as he retires. This is contained in a brief memorandum to Mopani employees by Mopani Board.