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Transition to contract mining underway at Tarkwa gold mine

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Gold Fields Ghana Ltd (GFGL) has formally begun the transition from owner mining to contract mining at its Tarkwa gold mine in Ghana. This follows a decision by the Accra High Court on 2 March 2018, dismissing an injunction application by the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union’s (GMWU) which sought to restrain the company from issuing severance letters to employees who will be affected by the contract mining operation.

After the Court’s ruling, the majority of the employees at the mining and equipment maintenance departments at Tarkwa signed their severance letters, an exercise that was carried out peacefully and orderly.

Approximately 1850 employees in total are to be affected by the transition to contract mining. Of these, 1300 workers have already signed their severance agreement letters, with the remainder scheduled to commence the process over the next couple of weeks.

As per an agreement between GFGL and the contractors, about 80 – 85% of these employees will be re-engaged by the contractors, under fair and equitable remuneration terms. As part of their severance package from GFGL, these employees will also benefit from three months’ gross salary for every year that they worked.

To support the implementation of this re-engagement agreement, and also to ensure a smooth transition, GFGL has offered interim fixed-term contracts to the affected workers, during which period they will participate in the ongoing interviews and other employment processes with the new contractors.

Under the contract mining model, the mining and equipment maintenance activities at Tarkwa will be managed by two contractors, both of whom are fully-owned Ghanaian entities. GFGL will continue to directly manage the other aspects of the business, including exploration and processing.

GFGL’s adoption of the contract mining model allows for the sustainability of the Tarkwa operations through investment in exploration and potential extension of the life of the mine, which will have significant benefits for communities, employees, investors, as well as the Government of Ghana.

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African mining news