CORRECTION: MUN wants mining license of Tantalite Mine revoked

03 Sep 2018 18:50pm

KEETMANSHOOP, 03 SEP (NAMPA) – The Mineworkers Union (MUN) has urged government to revoke the mining license of the Namibia Tantalite Mine for failing to temporarily suspend a retrenchment exercise, as requested by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).
The request was issued to the mine’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Larry Johnson, who went ahead and retrenched all 49 workers at the mine situated at Warmbad on Friday.
MUN Regional Organiser, Elvis Bekele in a media statement issued to Nampa on Monday expressed: “The MUN is very disappointed with the conduct and disrespect of the CEO of this mine after the MME requested him to suspend the retrenchment exercise for further engagement with the Ministry in a meeting to take place on the 10 September 2018.”
He explained that the parties where still negotiating on alternatives to save the jobs at the mine and made clear that the MUN cannot tolerate such behaviors from investors who undermine the highest authority in this country.
“In this country we cannot work with investors who do not respect our Government, the law of this country and the Namibian people at large, we are not going to entertain that at all, this is total nonsense,” Bekele stressed.
In a letter dated 30 August 2018 to the CEO and seen by this news agency, the MME requested Johnson for a meeting on 10 September 2018 for him to elaborate and for government to fully understand the retrenchment exercise the mine intends to undertake.
“In the meanwhile I request that you suspend the retrenchment proceedings until we have engaged,” reads the letter.
Upon enquiry, Johnson said that he was not aware of the letter from MME and only became aware of it on Monday after his Personal Assistant (PA) told him.
“I was not aware of it until Monday when my PA told me. Due to a death in the family, I am out of office, and yes I did accept to attend the meeting because I respect the government,” he added.
He however confirmed that indeed the employees where retrenched on Friday.
The mine announced in June this year that it will retrench 49 employees because of a water shortage and lack of production at the mine.