HomeGoldBuffelsfontein could face 500 retrenchments

Buffelsfontein could face 500 retrenchments

The number 10 shaft
at Buffelsfontein
gold mine
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 November 2008 – Emerging South African resources company Simmer and Jack Mines Limited (Simmers) is starting a consultation process aimed at optimising the business and ensuring that production targets are met.
A news release published here says wholly-owned Simmers subsidiary Buffelsfontein Gold Mine (BGM) has issued a Section 189(a) Notice to organised labour in terms of  which the mine will begin the process.

Simmers announced earlier this month that BGM would be focusing on its margins and taking a far stronger line on those sections of the mine that did not contribute to cash flow.

“We are experiencing unprecedented increases in the costs of materials required for mining and milling, and management intends to engage all stakeholders to ensure the long-term sustainability of BGM,” says Simmers CEO Gordon Miller. “Considerable capital has been invested since 2005 to ensure that the mine has the necessary infrastructure to produce according to its life of mine plan, and in the current economic climate it’s essential that all sections produce optimally," he added.

The news release explains that the optimisation process is aimed at those sections of the mine that need to improve their operating margins. This includes Number 12 shaft and smaller sections of the mine`s six other operational shafts.

It points out that failure to conclude an optimisation plan could result in the retrenchment of about 500 people within the next two months.

BGM has created 5 440 new jobs since the start up of its underground operations in 2005. Its six operating shafts include the high-grade Number 5 shaft, which is in the process of being re-furbished and is on track for completion in March 2009. The bulk of the mine`s underground production currently comes from the Number 6, 7 and 8 shafts.