gold
Trade union Solidarity supports the decision by AngloGold Ashanti to sell both Kopanang and Moab Khotsong mines to Harmony Gold.

This follows after AngloGold Ashanti announced that the transactions have been finalised and that Maob Khotsong and related assets in the Vaal River Region have been sold to Harmony Gold, and the Kopanang mine and West Gold Plant have been sold to Village Main Reef, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based investment company Heaven-Sent SA Sunshine Investment.

According to AngloGold Ashanti, the Moab Khotsong transaction affects about 6 500 workers has the potential to extend the lifetime of the Zaaiplaats Project by more than 15 years, depending on feasibility studies.

The Kopanang transaction affects about 3 500 workers and is part of the section 189 restructuring programme that is currently underway.

The sale of the Kopanang mine will prevent the mine from being placed in care and maintenance.

It will therefore continue with its operations, including operations at the West Gold plant, therefore many jobs that were at risk will be saved.

However, AngloGold Ashanti will still pay severance packages to retrenched workers and the new owners will then negotiate with all the affected parties about the number of jobs to be retained, which means that the workers will then be employed by the new owners.

According to Solidarity’s mining industry deputy general secretary, Connie Prinsloo, Solidarity supports these deals and it applauds AngloGold Ashanti for taking this decision that, thanks to the extension of the lifespan of the mines, will contribute towards bringing stability to the sector.

Its direct results are the strengthening of the mines’ long-term sustainability and the retention and creation of job opportunities for the benefit of workers and communities in the mines’ vicinity, as well as the regional economy and that of South Africa.

“We are calling on Harmony Gold to maximise this value adding to its South African portfolio and to capitalise on the opportunities that are being created,” says Prinsloo.

The eyes of the industry and that of all players, both national and international, will be fixed on Harmony Gold and Heaven-Sent in the expectation that exponential growth and stability would be a breath of fresh air in the mining industry which comes at a time during which the industry is facing many challenges.

Solidarity is in favour of initiatives that will accomplish job opportunities and job security.

It is for this very reason that Solidarity supports AngloGold Ashanti’s decision which, according to the company, will also strengthen their own position.

“Solidarity calls on all mining houses to follow AngloGold Ashanti’s example by first considering other alternatives before taking rash decisions that might lead to the closure of mines and the associated retrenchment of workers,” concludes Prinsloo.

Feature image credit: Solidarity