Johannesburg - Certain mines will be closed and miners may lose their jobs if the current unprotected strike across AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] mines continues, the company said on Monday.
"Clearly, for South Africa's gold sector, as for many others, there is a very clear trade-off between investing in the sustainability of our business and not putting employment at risk," CEO Mark Cutifani told reporters in Johannesburg.
"If the current unprotected strike continues, it compounds the potential likelihood of a premature downsizing of AngloGold Ashanti's South African operations."
He said where downsizing and closures occurred, the mine was unlikely to reopen the shafts because of the associated costs.
Cutifani urged striking workers to return to work so a sustainable solution for all could be reached.
He said the mine would not respond to workers' requests unless they were made through authorised structures.
"We must be very clear in our message to all striking employees that if people return to work and engage in constructive discussions, we will find a pathway to a sustainable and shared future," he said.
A total of 24 000 AngloGold Ashanti workers have downed tools since the unprotected strike began on September 25.
Workers at the operations at the West Wits and Vaal River regions joined those at Kopanong, who embarked on an unprotected strike on September 20.
Cutifani said on Monday that various sources had indicated that the illegal work stoppage was over wage issues. Since the strike started, no formal demands had been presented to management.
Meanwhile, Cutifani wished Judge Ian Farlam well at the beginning of the judicial commission of inquiry into the killing of 34 mineworkers at Lonmin's Marikana mine on Monday.
"We wish Judge Farlam and his colleagues all the best in the process... and certainly will stand by to provide any input in the inquiry."
He said it was important that the entire process of the commission was respected by all so that a similar incident did not happen again.
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