Vedanta’s Zambian Copper Unit Halts Plan to Fire 2,000 Workers

Vedanta Resources Plc (VED), the metals and oil producer controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, halted plans to cut 2,000 jobs at its copper mines in Zambia.

“We are not going ahead with this redundancy program,” Joy Sata, a spokeswoman for Kitwe-based Konkola Copper Mines Plc, said by mobile phone. The company, which is 79.4 percent owned by Vedanta, reversed its plans after talks with the government and labor unions, she said.

Mining companies including Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS) and Rio Tinto Group have announced job cuts this year as they seek to cut costs and protect profits amid falling metal prices. Konkola had previously announced its intention to fire 24 percent of its workforce last month.

Copper prices have slumped 6 percent since the start of the year, with prices for three-month delivery closing at $7,455 a metric ton yesterday on the London Metal Exchange.

“Significant progress has been made in identifying measures that will mitigate the company’s financial and business challenges,” KCM, as the company is known, said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Hill in Lusaka at mhill58@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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