Sale of Navachab mine gaining momentum

05 Aug 2013 07:50
WINDHOEK, 05 AUG (NAMPA) - AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) is busy finalising the offers received for the sale of the Navachab Gold Mine, the Senior Manager of Sustainability and Country Relations, Chris Movirongo told Nampa on Thursday.
“We are working towards finalisation of offers received,” he stated after being approached for comment on the matter.
Reports on the proposed sale of Navachab Gold Mine (NGM) started circulating in April this year.
Movirongo said the company set out to seek a purchaser which meets the requirements for the sale in terms of price, and which has the technical capability and financial capacity to continue to operate Navachab, which is situated at Karibib in the Erongo Region, effectively.
“The reasons for selling the mine are that the mine is a small contributor to AGA and as such, our rationale for launching the sales process was to determine whether we could sell the asset at a price which would meet our requirements so that we can invest our resources in our larger assets, and equally so that Navachab could benefit from being a larger part of a smaller portfolio where it would achieve greater focus,” he indicated.
Asked about the impact the sale will have on employees, Movirongo said they are selling AGA Namibia as a shareholder, and consequently the sale will not impact any contract held with AGA Namibia, including employee contracts.
The mine has 417 employees and 471 contractors. The mine treats some two million tonnes of ore a year, producing some 70 000 to 75 000 ounces of gold per annum.
Last July, the mine experienced a 13-day strike, which paralysed production.
The industrial action stopped production at the Navachab Gold Mine at Karibib since it commenced.
The strike came in the wake of a refusal by Navachab Gold Mine to accept demands made by the workers through the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (MUN) for an increase of 12 per cent on their basic wages.
NGM rejected the offer and stated that they are only able to give the workers an increase of seven per cent, after initially offering an eight per cent increase which was also declined by the union.
Meanwhile, the South African Press Association (SAPA) reported last week that AngloGold Ashanti has announced that it will shed a substantial number of jobs to cut costs.
“We are reducing numbers in Johannesburg and other regional offices all over the world,” the company’s spokesman, Alan Fine was quoted as saying in a SAPA report.
“My understanding is that it is substantial but not that substantial,” Fine said at the time.
South African daily newspaper Business Day however earlier reported that AngloGold was reducing its head count at its Johannesburg head office, and other offices in Africa, from 1 000 to 220.