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Glencore Zambian unit closes two mine shafts; opposition sees 1,400 job cuts

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LUSAKA, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Glencore's Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia has closed two shafts at its Nkana mine, the company said on Thursday, a move that an opposition leader said had led to 1,400 job losses.

A Mopani spokesman would not specify the number of workers affected, saying they were not employees of the company.

"The closure of the two uneconomic shafts was always part of our plans," Mopani said in a statement, adding that the move would allow it to channel funds towards the completion of other expansion projects.

Mopani said it had served notices of non-renewal of all contracts for development support services at the Mindola north and central shafts.

The president of the opposition Democratic Party, Harry Kalaba, said 1,400 mine contractors from the two shafts had been sent home on Thursday when they reported for work.

"It is unfair to subject our people to job losses when the economy is tough and people are suffering," Kalaba said.

(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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