Image courtesy of Sibanye Gold Ltd

Sibanye-Stillwater will restart operations at its gold mines in South Africa after signing a three-year wage agreement with trade unions, the miner said in a statement on Monday.

Sibanye said the wage deal would be effective from July 1 and the restart would be phased over three months to ensure the safe resumption of gold mining operations.

Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, who make up the vast majority of workers at Sibanye’s gold operations, have been on strike at Sibanye’s gold operations since March 9.

The three-month standoff ended after Sibanye and the unions signed a wage deal brokered by South Africa’s Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, a labour mediation body.

The pay deal will see general employees receive an increase of 1,000 rand ($62.37) a month in the first year of the agreement, 900 rand in the second year and 750 rand in the third. Artisans and other skilled workers will receive a 5% increase in the first year, with increases in subsequent years linked to inflation.

“We look forward to restarting our South African gold operations for the benefit of all stakeholders,” Sibanye chief executive Neal Froneman said in a statement.

“We are pleased to have achieved an agreement which is in line with inflation and which will contribute significantly to the sustainability of our gold operations.”

The NUM confirmed signing the wage deal in a statement issued on Sunday.

($1 = 16.0328 rand)

(By Bhargav Acharya and Nelson Banya; Editing by Helen Reid and Mark Potter)

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