First Quantum rescind decision to lay off 500 employees

First Quantum Minerals Limited has rescinded its decision to lay off 500 employees at the Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila currently under construction.
This follows a decision by the government to allow the mine resume the construction of the Chisola Dam, which was halted by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) in May.
FQM spokesperson John Gladston said in a statement on Sunday July 21,2013 that the decision will also see the company double the work rate to ensure that the development of the mine is completed by its set deadline of 2014.
Gladson said mine is expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of copper per year while the completion of the mine and on-going expansions at Kansanshi Mine is expected to raise FQM’s copper production to an estimated 750,000 tonnes per year.
He commended Government for allowing the resumption of the construction of Chisola Dam an important source of water for the mine saying the decision is an an expression of mutual desire and positive co-operation to see that sustainable development is accelerated in Zambia.
Gladson said the company is confident that the strategic environmental impact assessment that Government will carry out parallel to the construction of the dam will validate the fact that the mining company had been rigorous in ensuring the care and protection of the environment at Kalumbila.
The company has threatened to lay off over 500 employees after ZEMA issued an environmental protection order to stop it from using the Chisola Dam.