Tsumeb Smelter is unique asset

This week, Alina Garises, communications manager at Dundee Precious Metals talks about the possible sale of the Tsumeb Smelter and impact it could have on the country’s economy.

Observer Money (OM): What impact will the sale of Tsumeb Smelter have on the current employees; does this mean they will lose jobs?

Alina Garises (AG): It is currently business as usual at the smelter. Decisions on future employment will belong to a new owner but we are extremely impressed by the quality and commitment of our Namibian workforce. While we cannot speak for a new owner, we believe that the reductions we made
as part of the cost reduction initiative have structured the workforce to the right level to operate efficiently. We will recommend that a new owner continues our preferential hiring of locals and our commitment that the workforce through all ranks continues to appropriately reflect modern Namibian society.

OM: How many employees work at the smelter?

AG: Approximately 600 employees excluding contractors.

OM: Does this mean that copper from Zambia and DRC will no longer be smelted in Tsumeb?

AG: Tsumeb is a unique asset that is one of the few smelters in the world that is able to safely and responsibly process complex copper concentrates. Decisions regarding sourcing and contracting concentrates for processing at the Tsumeb smelter would belong to a new owner.

OM: Is there any interest from prospective buyers so far?

AG: The details of any sales process, including any potential buyers, would be confidential. Companies typically keep these types of strategic review processes confidential, but we shared the information about the strategic review to be transparent with our employees and stakeholders regarding our intentions. This is a unique asset which we believe will be of interest to a number of prospective buyers.

OM: At what price has the smelter been pegged?

AG: Valuations and the potential structure for any transaction are, at this point, confidential information that we are not in a position to share and we cannot speculate on any potential outcomes.

OM: Anything else to add on this issue?

AG: We are committed to openly and transparently providing updates as quickly as we are able as the strategic review process evolves. Our actions will be guided by our values and respect for our employees and stakeholders.

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