The Zambian Government has issued a warning to First Quantum Minerals-owned copper mine Kansanshi due to its decision to lay-off workers without a consultation period.
The mine, which is 80%-owned by the Canadian company, had announced plans to make 400 workers redundant. The Zambian Government said that this was done without any prior information, as is required under country's law.
Chief government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili told Xinhua that: "All mining companies are aware of the standing order, which obliges them to consult the government through the Ministry of Labor before any decision to sack any worker becomes effective."
According to Kansanshi, 343 workers were going to lose their jobs at the mine, mainly from contracting companies building a smelter that had been completed in December 2014.
Located about 10km north of the town of Solwezi and 180km north-west of the Copperbelt town of Chingola, the Kansanshi mine has undergone several expansions since it began operating in 2005.
The mine had an initial production capacity of 110,000t of copper and is now capable of producing 340,000t and more than 120,000oz of gold a year.
The remaining 20% of the mine is owned by a subsidiary of ZCCM.