15 March 2019

Namibia: Depleted Stocks At Skopiorn Zinc Refinery Result in Temporary Closure

Skorpion Zinc on Friday in a statement confirmed the temporary closure of its refinery for a period of five weeks.

This follows the depletion of ore stocks as a result of an unprotected strike from 22 February until 6 March by employees of mining contractor, Basil Read.

According to the statement, the company said every effort is being made to mitigate impacts on customers, on the business as a whole and on employees.

"Maintenance that was planned for later this year will be undertaken during this time period. Skorpion Zinc is working to optimise the FY19/20 business plan so as to minimise the impact over the remainder of the life of the Pit112 project," said Skorpion ZincCorporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager, Nora Ndopu.

Earlier this week, Skorpion Zinc General Manager Irvinne Simmata had warned that sthe strike in itself could result in the restructure and/or premature closure of the operations.

Work stoppages such as these have an enormously negative impact on the business, Simmata said.

This has been the third disruption in the past seven months and Simmata said the business is set to loss around N$314 million.

Skorpion came into production in 2003, and was acquired from Anglo American by Vedanta Zinc International in 2010/2011.

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