AngloGold Ashanti reported on Wednesday (14 November) that normal operations have resumed at its Mponeng mine near Carletonville south-west of Johannesburg following successful engagement with employee and trade union representatives over the past week.
All mining and processing at Mponeng - the world's deepest mine - was suspended on November 6‚ after two underground sit-ins by a group of workers and some vandalism on the property led to management concerns that safe working conditions could not be assured.
Talks between AngloGold Ashanti's South Africa regional management and representatives of unions and associations in the intervening period culminated in the agreement by all parties to a set of guiding principles that will govern safe work and labour relations at Mponeng in future‚ AngloGold Ashanti said.
This document‚ signed by the local branches of the National Union of Mineworkers‚ Solidarity‚ The United Association of South Africa and worker representatives of The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union at a public meeting on 10 November‚ covers a series of issues including: safety; freedom of association; transparency and honesty; respect for the rule of law; rejection of intimidation; effective dispute resolution and collective bargaining.
The return to work at Mponeng was based on the same wages and working conditions applicable at the company's other South African operations.
"This is an important set of guiding principles‚ drafted and agreed between AngloGold Ashanti and a diverse group of labour representatives‚" Mike O'Hare‚ AngloGold Ashanti's executive vice president of South Africa‚ said.
"These principles provide a good foundation for a constructive relationship in future which is essential for all stakeholders given the long-term nature of this business."
With the successful restart of Mponeng‚ all six of AngloGold Ashanti's underground mines in South Africa‚ as well as its surface operations‚ are now operating.
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