Mining giant, Newmont Ghana has temporarily halted plans to lay off 600 workers by the close of the second quarter of this year.
The company announced that it will comply with the directive of the National Labour Commission (NLC) to enter into mediation with the Ghana Mine Workers Union on its planned workforce reduction.
“We will comply with this directive and hope to bring the issue to resolution quickly. Accordingly, our planned workforce reduction has temporarily been put on hold,” says Johan Ferreira, regional senior vice-president of Newmont’s Africa Operations.
Newmont Ghana has been implementing measures to streamline production costs and improve efficiency to make the business sustainable over the long term.
The company explained that the impending workforce reduction is largely driven by a number of factors including:
• Declining gold price and high operational cost due to iincreased waste rock stripping at the Ahafo mine;
• Aligning the mining rate with milling capacity at the Ahafo mine;
• A significant drop in Ahafo’s gold production level due to the lower ore grade;
“It is very critical that we move forward with our other cost improvement initiatives as well as the planned workforce reduction so we can ensure the business remains sustainable and continues to create shared value for our employees, communities and the government,” Ferreira further added.
As required by law, the company had issued a 90-day notice in February to the relevant stakeholders including the Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMWU). The 90-day notice period expired on May 21, without reaching an agreement with the Union.
The company reiterated that it will continue to engage key stakeholders to ensure mutual understanding of the rationale for the ongoing business improvement measures the company is undertaking to remain sustainable.