Tanzania mining firm to lay off over 600

More than 600 miners at TanzaniteOne Ltd are due to lose their jobs.

More than 600 miners at TanzaniteOne Ltd are due to lose their jobs.

More than 600 workers at TanzaniteOne Mining Ltd, a major mining company in Tanzania, are set to lose their jobs due to lower production volumes.

The development comes as a “holiday surprise” to hundreds of workers who had thought they would be working with the company long term.

The blue gemstone company, tanzanite announced Wednesday it will be terminating at least 635 employees due to poor production.

It was not immediately established if the mine is planning to stop all mining and halting all operations but Apolinary Modest, TanzaniteOne Mining Manager said “the major reason is the financial status of the company.”

He said the company is currently working on the legal framework before executing the layoffs.
Modest said due to lower production and financial challenges the company cannot afford the current payroll of 1,231 workers.

TanzaniteOne Legal officer Kisaka Mnzava revealed the decision to cut back on staff is neither new nor unique.

“We want this exercise conducted as per the law,” he said adding “the law is very clear we will issue a notice and start consultations … there shall be no decision issued without getting to a same understanding between the workers union and the company.”

One of the workers concerned about losing her job at the company told Afrika Reporter we “are aware of the impending decision and we’re ready to face it.”

Tanzania Mines and Construction Workers Union (TAMICO) Chairman Maghai Daniel expressed doubts the company will abide to governing laws but insisted “they must pay all affected staff as per mining policy.”

Michael Mushi an employee said “we’re not disputing the retrenchment decision but want all procedures to be followed.”

The largest majority shareholder in North Mara, Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines, Acacia also announced mid last month plans to cut over 1,200 jobs due to a plunge in gold prices.