JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gold producer AngloGold Ashanti on Wednesday reported a third-quarter production loss of between 40 000 oz and 70 000 oz of gold owing to the wildcat strikes by 35 000 workers countrywide.
Gold production during the three months to September reached 1.03-million ounces, compared with the company’s guidance of between 1.07-million and 1.1-million ounces.
AngloGold Ashanti pointed out that operations at the mines within the Vaal River region, which normally accounted for about 40% of the group’s South African gold production and all its uranium production, had started ramping up production levels after workers returned to work on Monday and Tuesday.
All returning workers would receive the recently improved wage offer made through the industry’s collective bargaining framework.
AngloGold Ashanti initiated the dismissal processes of about 12 000 workers spread across the Mponeng, TauTona and Savuka mines, in the West Wits region, after the striking workers failed to report for duty by the Wednesday 12:00 deadline.
The AngloGold dismissals bring the number of workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the unprotected strike action in the gold mining sector to more than 21 000.
On Tuesday, Gold Fields dismissed 8 500 of its workers, while Gold One last week fired 1 417 workers at its Ezulwini mine.
Harmony Gold has issued an ultimatum to 5 400 striking Kusasalethu workers to return to work by Thursday.
Gold mining companies would meet with unions at the Chamber of Mines on Thursday to discuss the response to proposals made regarding wages.
Meanwhile, AngloGold said that it would terminate its Obuasi mine development contract with underground development contractor Mining and Building Contractors.
“This is the initial stage of a larger restructuring programme that aims to build a profitable and sustainable long-term future for this operation, where sub-par underground development has been identified as a key reason for under-performance and declining production in recent years,” the company said in statement.