Feb. 24 -- The management of Kansanshi Copper Mines, Zambia's largest single copper mine by output, has offered its workers a 10% pay rise in a new labor deal for the year ending Dec. 31, 2010, a union official told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday.
Sikufela Mundia, president of the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers, said by telephone from the Copper Belt province that union representatives and management have already signed the labor contract following the conclusion of labor talks last week. Kansanshi is owned by Toronto-listed First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.T).
"We agreed new terms in the 2010 collective agreement last week," he said adding that the union would continue working closely with management to foster industrial harmony.
The mining company will also offer a 25% production bonus of gross pay over and above the miners' regular salary, a safety bonus of 10% and an attendance bonus of 10%, he added.
Godfrey Msiska, Kansanshi's spokesman said that the management had also increased the workers' leave travel allowance to 1 million Zambian Kwacha ($210) from ZMK200,000 for the year ending Dec.31, 2010.
In a statement emailed to Dow Jones Newswires, Msiska said that the company has been paying production bonuses to its workers since 2007.
"Kansanshi mine employees have the potential to earn an extra 45% of their regular pay, once they have met their bonus conditions. This compensation package places Kansanshi Mine among the top payers in the Zambian mining industry," he said.
According to Msiska, management and the Miners' Union of Zambia and National Union Of Miners and Allied Workers have pledged to continue consulting each other on matters of mutual interest, in order to enhance the industrial harmony at the mine.
Zambian miners have been pressing for pay hikes since late last year, citing improved global copper prices.
In December last year, the miners' unions said they would not accept any pay hike below the country's inflation rate, which stood at 9.6% in January according to Zambia's consumer price index.
Kansanshi Copper Mines becomes the fifth mining company in Zambia to offer a pay rise to its miners since the start of the year.
London-listed Vedanta Resources PLC (VED.LN), owners of Konkola Copper Mines, Swiss commodity trader Glencore International AG, which owns Mopani Copper Mines, and Chinese-owned NFC Africa, a unit of China Nonferrous Metals Co. (8306.HK) as well as Equinox Minerals Ltd. (EQN.T) have all offered their miners pay increments this year.
Last year, Kansanshi produced 245,000 metric tons of copper cathodes; the mine also produces around 70,000 troy ounces of gold every year.