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First Quantum to slash over 1,000 jobs at Kalumbila amid Zambian tax hike

As the Zambian government increases taxes in January 2019, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. plans to cut more than 1,000 workers at its Kalumbila copper-nickel mine, Reuters reported Dec. 15, citing Labour Minister Joyce Simukoko.

"We received the letter last week informing us that they want to lay off more than 1,000 workers starting in January but we think these are arm-twisting tactics," the minister told Reuters.

The country plans to introduce new mining duties, replace value-added tax with sales tax and increase royalties to help bring down rising debt.

The Zambian Chamber of Mines recently warned that the country's recent tax increases for the resources sector may lead to about 21,000 job losses and US$500 million in capital expenditure cuts over the next three years as mining companies would be forced to substantially scale back operations.

Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo said the government would "send back some of the foreign workers" if companies cut jobs in the country, Bloomberg News reported.