Paladin Africa, an Australian Company which runs the Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Malawi’s northern district of Karonga has temporally shut down the mine due to lack of chemicals which is used to mix with solid parts of uranium to make it gas substance, Nyasa Times understands.
A company official told Nyasa Times that suppliers of acid has for the past two weeks not been supplying the chemicals to the mine. The company’s machine which is used to produce acid had seized to work.
“For the past two weeks, we haven’t seen a track which carries acids and reagents from South Africa and sometimes from Zimbabwe which is used to mix solid uranium to make gas substance. The machine which is used to produce acid at Kayelekera has seized to work posing a challenge to produce uranium at the company,” said the official.
The company has so far indefinitely sent back home all workers apart from watchmen.
“The whole of last night workers did not work due to inadequacy of these chemicals and to make sure that they should not spend more resources on food as workers are not working they have sent the employees for a holiday.”
Paladin General Manager Greg Walker confirmed to Nyasa Times on the shutdown but said is not because of shortage of materials at the mine.
“Yes people are saying a lot on why we have closed the mine. What I can tell you is that we cannot stop mining here, we are just conducting maintenance training on what we have done and this happens every year in August,” said Walker.
This week, an employee Khwima Phiri who was working in the engineering workshop died after a vehicle wheel he was inflating hit him on the chest.
Meanwhile, some employees have expressed disappointment over the way Paladin handled the funeral, arguing that management paid little attention.
But Walker said the company accords funeral services all the respect they deserve and people who were making the complaints were not justified.