Business News of Monday, 12 November 2012
AngloGold Ashanti says that it had signed an agreement with Mining & Building Contractors (MBC) management, shareholders and the Ghana Mine Workers Union aimed at ushering in a new era for Obuasi
Last month, AngloGold Ashanti terminated its underground development contract with Mining & Building Contractors (MBC) in order to secure the viability and long-term sustainability of the mine.
AngloGold Ashanti has recruited approximately 700 new employees, most of them former MBC employees, and will assume full responsibility for underground development with immediate effect.
AngloGold Ashanti has traditionally undertaken underground production using its own employees and equipment. The company will continue as an owner-operator in production and will now also assume underground development.
Mr. Kwesi Enyan, MD of Obuasi mine, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with MBC management, MBC’s shareholders and the Ghana Mine Workers Union.
This provides a great deal of certainty for affected workers as we assume full responsibility for our own underground development work. We believe that this is an important step in the transformation of Obuasi Mine into a world-class asset.”
In terms of the separation agreement, AngloGold Ashanti will fund the employee entitlements owed by MBC to MBC employees directly affected by termination of the relationship between the two parties.
These entitlements will be paid from today until all payments have been completed as outlined in the agreement. All MBC employees will be paid their outstanding benefits, leave pay, repatriation entitlements and a 13th month cheque, and will receive a food parcel in December. MBC employees can verify their entitlements through the main MBC office, and can expect payments to their bank accounts as per usual.
Mr. Enyan has noted: “We have a responsibility not only to the people employed by the mine, but also to the broader Obuasi community to ensure that the decisions we take are in the interests of Obuasi’ s long-term viability.
I would like to thank all concerned for ensuring a smooth transition, and look forward to working with the many hundreds of new AngloGold Ashanti employees as we embark upon the exciting prospect of conducting our own underground development.”