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Business News of Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Source: Graphic.com.gh

3,100 AngloGold Ashanti workers lose jobs


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AngloGold Ashanti has confirmed that 3,100 employees of the company have been retrenched in the past two years.

The phased programme of retrenchment, it said, was done with the co-operation of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) and in full compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Currently, the company has 1,300 full-time employees and 1,100 third-party contractors at the Obuasi Mine.

The Executive Vice-President in charge of Sustainability at AngloGold Ashanti, Mr David Noko, addressing a forum to update stakeholders on progress of operations at the mine in Accra yesterday, said, “In the past two years, about 3,100 employees had received severance packages.”

The packages, he said, were in line with an agreement reached with the GMWU “and on the basis of mutual agreement with the affected workers”.

He said the retrenchment exercise was an announced intention of the company to place the mine on limited operations while a comprehensive feasibility study was completed by next year.

Mr Noko said when the study was completed, the mine would become highly mechanised and productive and could produce seven million ounces of high-grade gold and provide an additional 20 million ounces of gold resource.

He said the 117-year-old mine had had to properly address high costs, poor mining flexibility, low tonnage and deteriorating infrastructure in order to ensure long-term sustainable contribution to the national economy.

“For many years, this national treasure and world-class ore body has delivered well below its potential, making it imperative that it undergoes a systematic change to allow it to deliver significant and sustainable contribution to all stakeholders,” Mr Noko said.

He said although the company had, over the past decade, contributed in excess of $577 million in corporate taxes, royalties, dividend, customs duties and employee taxes to the economy, the lower gold price and worsening operational challenges required the current measures.

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