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VENTURES AFRICA- Newmont Ghana, a subsidiary of US-based Newmont Mining Corp. has revealed plans to cut up to 600 jobs in its two operating mines by the end June, due to ageing facility and slumping gold prices.
The planned cuts, mostly at Ahafo mine, became necessary to help readjust expenditures to the ageing milling rate, ensuring the continuity of its operation in Africa’s second largest gold producing country, explained Adiki Ayitevie Newmont’s external affairs director
Hauling distances have increased, taxing equipment and fuel needs. Equipment in general have aged and requires larger sums of sustaining capital replacement. All these changes burden our cost position at Ahafo, Regional Senior Vice President of Africa Region, Dave Schummer as said in a memo released to the company staffs.
“At present, we anticipate that approximately 500-600 employees will be impacted by the changes underway, including national management employees, senior and junior staff as well as expatriates… We are currently working to complete a memorandum of understanding with the Ghana Mine Workers Union to define the contractual elements to pay to our impacted employees as is covered under our Collective Bargaining Agreement,” Schummer said.
Generic fall in gold prices globally has forced players in the Gold mining industry to adjust some their operational activities. In 2013, global gold prices slumped 28 per cent but it has recovered around 4 per cent so far this year, Ghana’s Citi Business reported.
Last year, Newmont which employs over 6,500 employees and contractors in Ghana retrenched 240 workers at its Ahafo mine in a similar job-cut spree.
To ensure efficient continuity of its operation, Newmont hopes to reduce the mining rate by removing equipment and reducing waste stripping, limit sustainable capital expenditures associated with a lower mining rate and also reduce labour force to align with the reducing mining rate.
Newmont is one of the three major gold miner in Ghana, Africa’s second-largest gold miner after South Africa. It began producing gold in Ghana in the year 2006 at its Ahafo mine. Akyem, its other mine began commercial production last year.
Both projects accounts for about 20 per cent of the company’s core assets worldwide.