The future of Kayelekera Mine in Karonga has been thrown into fresh doubts following the retrenchment, effective 30 May this year, of 22 employees due to lack of revenue brought about by a downturn in the uranium market.
In an internal memo released on 31 March, which The Daily Times has seen, Paladin Africa Limited General Manager (Operations) Alec Shotland said the company has no revenue to keep everyone at Kayelekera Mine.
Shotland said due to continued downturn in uranium prices, the company has decided to review activities and reduce costs measures.
He further explained that since the plant is not producing uranium, some jobs would no longer be required.
“The company’s revenues continue to decline because it is not selling uranium. I understand this is not an easy decision to make but the events of the situation are beyond control. We are sorry to the affected employees,” reads part of the memo.
The memo also says that the affected employees would be communicated through letters.
In the meantime, the company says it would maintain the plant and equipment until operations resume.
Kayelekera Mine was officially opened on 17 April 2009 by the then Malawian president, Bingu wa Mutharika.
Since 2014, the mine has been on care and maintenance mode owing to a depressed uranium market.
The mine has not been profitable for its operators and it has met opposition from organisations and individuals concerned about the mine’s tax concessions, operations, adherence to laws and regulations and its potential impact on human and environmental safety.