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Union speaks its mind

Workers underground
at Simmer’s Buffels-
fontein mine
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 December 2010 – Trade union Solidarity has issued a warning that it will not tolerate any retrenchments resulting from the takeover of Simmer & Jack by Village Main Reef Gold Mining

“No retrenchments that may result from the planned takeover will be tolerated,” said spokesperson Ilze Nieuwoudt in a statement. She called for urgent talks with Village CEO Bernard Swanepoel. “A lot will have to happen before this takeover can be finalised and before that happens, clear answers must be obtained concerning Village’s plans,” she stated.

However, Swanepoel told Sapa he had not heard anything from the union. “If it was so urgent I would have thought they would’ve phoned me… I spoke to them last week,” he said.

The takeover was supposed to lead to job creation, rather than job losses, he said. “In the putting together of the two businesses, we had exactly the opposite [to retrenchment] in mind. The intention is not to destroy jobs but to save jobs in the longer-term,” he added.

The union said it had no objections to Village’s planned takeover of Simmers, as long as the interests of employees were protected.

Swanepoel said the process of approvals obviously included submissions to the Competition Commission… including the statement of intentions on job creation. “The proposed merger would result in a diversified mining company operating in the gold, platinum group metals, uranium and antinomy sectors,” the two companies said on Monday in a joint statement.

Village would acquire 100% of Simmers’ assets, including its Buffelsfontein, Hartebeestfontein and Tau Lekoa mines. It would also acquire about 33% of the issued share capital of First Uranium, owned by Simmers.

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