Most mining strikers return to work

Gold producers are slowly getting back into operation

Most mining strikers return to work
Workers report for duty

Gold producers, represented by the Chamber of Mines, are slowly getting back into operation following an addendum to the 2011 to 2013 wage agreement signed last week. Gold Fields confirmed yesterday that the company’s Beatrix mine was in full production again while production at the KDC West mine was expected to reach full production this week.

However, operations at the KDC East mine were still suspended pending the processing of the appeals of about 7 000 of the 8 100 dismissed workers who embarked on an illegal strike on October 14.

Workers returned to AngloGold Ashanti on Friday but the company has indicated that production would only be restarted after extensive safety checks had been carried out. The group has retracted the dismissal of 12 000 mineworkers at the Mponeng, TauTona and Savuka operations in the West Wits region.

Earlier last week, employees returned to the company's Kopanang and Great Noligwe operations, in the Vaal region  and the Moab Khotsong operations, near Orkney.

At Harmony Gold, most of the 5 400 striking workers at its Kusasalethu mine, near Carletonville, had reported for duty. 

Earlier this month, Gold Fields indicated that it had lost over 65 000 oz of gold production and in excess of R1.2 billion potential revenue. AngloGold Ashanti lost about 32 000 oz of gold production each week since the 35 000-strong unprotected strike started at the Kopanang mine on 20 September .

The 23-day strike at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine has cost the company about 13 000 oz in lost production.

Meanwhile in the platinum sector, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has offered a once-off bonus of R2 000 and the reinstatement of 12 000 dismissed striking workers – if they returned to work by today.

The workers could also apply for a R2 500 advance payment or loan, to be paid back over six months starting in January.

Johannesburg- and Toronto-listed junior Atlatsa Resources has also offered a return-to-work agreement for workers at its Bokoni mine.

The company said yesterday all employees and dismissed workers must return to work by Thursday to qualify for a R2000 once-off payment.

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