Sibanye-Stillwater says miners stage underground sit-in

04.06.24 17:46 Uhr

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MINING at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kroondal and K6 platinum group metal (PGM) mines has been disrupted after hundreds of employees staged illegal protest action, the group said on Tuesday.The protest started on June 3 at Kroondal West’s Kwezi shaft involving 211 employees who remained underground after the morning shift. A further 250 night shift employees are assembled on surface at K6 PGM shaft.The protests follow annual payments made to beneficiaries of the Rustenburg and Marikana employee share option schemes (ESOPs) on June 1. The striking Kroondal employees are aggrieved to be excluded from ESOP payments, despite Kroondal employees not yet qualifying for the payments, the company said.“The current illegal and unprotected strike however is disappointing and we appeal to all stakeholders, including employees, to follow the established grievance procedures and to refrain from illegal acts,” said Richard Stewart, chief regional officer for Sibanye-Stillwater’s Southern Africa region.Sibanye-Stillwater said that a provision of the 2023 Kroondal wage agreement signed with the NUM and AMCU allowed for talks on the feasibility of including Kroondal employees into the Rustenburg employee share ownership scheme (ESOP).This would only be when the previously announced acquisition of the Kroondal Pool and Share Agreement (PSA) by Sibanye Rustenburg Platinum Mines (SRPM) was finalised.“Several engagements took place between the company, organised labour, and employees regarding the proposed ESOP as per the provision, with the parties agreeing that Kroondal employees would be included as beneficiaries of the Rustenburg ESOP, following the conclusion of the PSA transaction, which is expected before the 2024 year end,” it said.“The striking employees and their union representatives were well informed about the future date of inclusion into the Rustenburg ESOP.”“We are currently engaging with all relevant stakeholders to end this illegal action and wish to thank Kroondal employees who continue to contribute to safe production,” said Stewart.Significant production losses would come at a tricky time for Sibanye-Stillwater which reported losses at its PGM operations last year amid a 60% slide in average prices for the metals. It wrote down assets for about $2.58bn.In February, it consequently decided to retrench 852 full time employees and contractors at its South African PGM mines.In its latest restructuring annoucement on April 11, Sibanye-Stillwater said it was running the rule over 3,107 employees and 915 contractors, though not all would be lost. These were jobs at its gold mines and head office.Sibanye-Stillwater announced R6.5bn worth of restructuring last year of which about half were at its US palladium and platinum mine Stillwater. The group called time on a proposed expansion of Stillwater to 700,000 ounces a year of palladium and platinum. Production for 2024 is expected to be between 440,000 to 460,000 oz.The post Sibanye-Stillwater says miners stage underground sit-in appeared first on Miningmx.Weiter zum vollständigen Artikel bei Mining.com

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