Sibanye Cooke 4 shaft reaches its lifespan
With mining having contributed a large part of the recent positive GDP figures released earlier this week, Sibanye Gold will be closing its Cooke 4 shaft in Westonaria.
Sibanye Gold has strongly defended its plan to shut down the Cooke 4 with the company’s James Wellsted saying they have been unable to bring the shaft to profitability.
According to Wellsted the mine has been underperforming, accumulating losses since 2014.
Wellsted dismissed allegations made by the National Union of Mineworkers that Sibanye Gold did not follow procedures with the Ministry of Minerals Resources over its plans to close Cooke 4. “We issued a Section 189 notice of the Labour Relations and Section 52 relating to the Mining Charter and the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act”, said Wellsted.
NUM launched scathing attacks on Sibanye Gold saying “this drastic action by the company will leave hundreds of mineworkers in a dire situation and the surrounding communities on the West Rand”.
On Tuesday (06 September 2016) more than 1 500 members of the National Union of Mineworkers at Sibanye Gold Cooke 4 branch marched against retrenchments and the closure of operation there.
But Wellsted denied reports of retrenchments saying they have been doing consultations with other unions to save jobs. He says they have agreed with others unions, namely AMCU and Solidarity on the issue of retrenchment avoidance.
Sibanye says it has absorbed about a thousand workers and placed them at its other operations.
Asked why they can’t keep the Cooke 4 shaft after Sibanye Gold posted strong financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2016.
The company recorded a 5% increase in gold production in operating profit from the Gold Division increasing by 125% to R5.3 billion from R2.4 billion for the comparable period in 2015, the company says it cannot cross-subsidize loss-making operations just to keep them going.
Sibanye also says it cannot take money from profitable operations and put it into loss-making operations as no one will benefit from that.
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