Kusasalethu mine re-opens: Harmony

14 February 2013 - 17:18 By Sapa
Harmony gold mine underground. File photo.
Harmony gold mine underground. File photo.
Image: Reuben Goldberg

Harmony Gold is to re-open its Kusasalethu mine, the company said on Thursday.

It said successful consultations between the employer and the workers' unions had paved the way for operations to resume in a phased process.

The start-up plan would kick in on Friday.

"A pre-condition for re-opening the mine was the acceptance by all employees of various conditions, all broadly relating to employees committing to full compliance with [company] policies and procedures, and safe and orderly conduct," Harmony said in a statement.

The mine, near Carletonville, was temporarily closed following weeks of illegal strikes in December last year.

The company previously said it decided to close the mine because it had a "legal and moral" obligation to secure the safety of the employees at the operation.

A consultation process, in terms of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, began on January 7 between Harmony and Kusasalethu employees, represented by their unions.

The company said it was agreed each employee would sign a code of conduct to show commitment to ensuring that Kusasalethu would be mined in a safe and secure way, with full respect for the rule of law.

Employees would return over a period of time in phases, and called back individually to ensure a safe and smooth process as of next Tuesday.

Individual signings of the code of conduct, training on the guarantees and undertakings consented to in the agreement, as well as health and safety inductions, would start on the same day.

Making underground areas safe was expected to take between six to eight weeks.

It was expected that the mine would return to full production at the end of June.

A monitoring committee would be established to ensure the guarantees and undertakings in the agreement were complied with.