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Issue 23 of 38 Next Issue | Previous Issue | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
June 2008
 
ANGLO PLATS LAUNCHES LARGEST WORKER EMPOWERMENT SCHEME

Following 18 months of consultation with labour union stakeholders, Anglo Platinum has launched a broad-based employee share ownership scheme (ESOP) – the biggest ownership transaction in the mining industry to date in terms of value and number of beneficiaries.

The scheme applies to about 46 000 full-time, permanent employees of Anglo Platinum in South Africa as at 31 March 2008, who are employed in Paterson band D1 or below and who are not part of any other company share scheme. 

The scheme, called the Anglo Platinum Kotula Trust, will see Anglo Platinum issue the equivalent of 1.5% of its employees, adjusting a portion of the percentage to allow for a gifted (free) share component. The financing structure of the Trust is made up of 40% gifted shares and 60% loans shares. The loan shares have to be paid back by the Trust and this will be achieved by using 50% of the ESOP’s dividends to repay the outstanding loan. 

The ESOP is a seven-year vesting trust that will distribute dividends each year, with capital payments made to the beneficiaries at the of year five, six and seven. 

The beneficiaries will receive an annual allocation of units from the trust that will determine their prorate portion of the share value created in the Trust. The shares carry full voting rights.

The Kotula Trust is registered under the Trust Property Control Act and will act as an independent entity in terms of the rules of the Trust and the law. The Trust will be managed by 13 trustees, comprising representatives of the trade unions and the company, as well as independent trustees. 

Prior to the launch of the ESOP, Anglo Platinum initiated an extensive education programme to advice beneficiaries of the workings of the Kotula Trust. This programme made use of printed material, video presentations, workshops and briefing sessions. 

Simon Tebele, head of corporate communications at Anglo Platinum, said the company regarded the ESOP as an important milestone in the establishment of employee ownership for a number of reasons, including the major role of labour in its design and implementation, the Trust’s establishment on a firm legal basis where labour represents the majority of trustees, and the commitment of the company and the Trust to an extensive and ongoing education and communication programme for beneficiaries and stakeholders throughout the life of the trust. 

The Trade Union Solidarity has welcomed the ESOP as the largest worker empowerment scheme ever announced. Solidarity’s Renint Dykema says: “Every worker, including those at D1 band who have never before owned Anglo Platinum shares, will now be a shareholder. An ESOP is one of the best ways to achieve empowerment and to shrink the gap between rich and poor.”



KIMBERLEY MINES SAFETY HEROES WIN TWO AWARDS.

Safety on De Beers Mines remains the single most important factor in the company. De Beers chose to hold the chairman Safety Shield Award Ceremony at its Kimberley Mines. Kimberley Mines was awarded the Chairman’s Safety Shield out of a total of 16 De Beers operations that participated. The safety shield was unveiled to all employees be De Beers chairman, Nicky Oppenheimer, at a special safety celebration at the mine.

In attendance at the awards ceremony were the premier of the Northern Cape Principal inspector, Enid Babuseng, employees and guests. 

This award was for a 100% improvement in safety and for having zero lost r=time injuries in 2007. Second place was awarded to Venetia Mine in Limpopo with 99% improvement and third place went to Orapa Mine in Botswana, which achieved a 98% improvement. 

Safety is a key feature within the De Beers family of companies and comes before profits, production or sales. “Living the Diamond Dream” means all who work for De Beers – from exploration to the sale of diamond jewellery – need to be passionate about the business, this includes being passionate about the safety of employees and all those who work for the company. 

Nompumelelo Zikalala, operations manager for Kimberley Mines said: “This is indeed a very proud occasion for every member of the Kimberley Mines team and it is a great honour to receive the shield from our chairman. Our world-class safety performance is as a result of the collective effort, dedication and commitment displayed by our employees, management and supervisors in upholding the high safety standards we set for ourselves and the energy we put into our on-mine safety campaigns. We have in true De Beers fashion embraced the values by making safety our passion. Since safety is a way of life whether one is at home or at the workplace; it is only appropriate to echo the theme of, ‘Safety for Life’ in our celebrations today. I am also proud to announce that we won the Department of Minerals and Energy safety competition in 2007 in the category, ‘Opencast Mine with more than 200 employees.’ Congratulations Kimberley Mines! Keep up the good safety performance, stay focused and be vigilant at all times.”


THE MOSH NOISE TEAM GOES HILTI

At the Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) workshop held in March, each of the four best practice adoption teams selected a practice to be tested and then demonstrated at different mines before being adopted elsewhere in the industry. The testing, demonstrating and adopting would be accompanied by extensive documentation covering effectiveness, efficiencies, applicability and ease of use, while any barriers to adoption are eliminated through a communications process.

Before the testing process could begin, the adoption teams engaged extensively with identified test mines, first to get acceptance and financial commitment as there are costs involved, and then to explore the practicalities and the fit of the best practice with the identified mines’ future plans. It is at this stage of the process that a number of lessons are learned with regard to the implementation of the identified best practices. The introduction of some changes in the original identified best practices came about as a result of these lessons. Other than the leadership team, whose timelines have been modified, the noise team has switched from the LR90 Rock Drill to the Hilti Rock Drill; the dust has modified the technological side of its identified best practice as the application of a fogger unit with or without dust suppression agents” whereas the prevention of the falls of ground adoption team has not changed its initially identified best practice. The changes highlight the learning nature of the MOSH best practice adoption system.


XSTRATA WINS GLOBAL AWARD FOR HIV/AIDS  

Xstrata Coal South Africa has been announced as the winner of a prestigious Business Excellence Award by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

The GBC Award for Business Excellence in HIV/AIDS Expanded Community Initiatives recognizes Xstrata Coal’s innovative public-private partnership which has strengthened local health services and extended HIV/AIDS and TB testing, counseling and treatment in two health districts of Mpumalanga province that have a population of over one million people. Approximately one in four adults in the province is living with HIV. 

The award was presented to Xstrata at a gala awards dinner on 9 June in New York City. UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon and Mick Davis, chief executive, Xstrata addressed the event, which was held in conjunction with the United Nations 2008 High-Level Meeting on AIDS on 10 and 11 June. 

Mick Davis, Xstrata chief executive said: “I am delighted that the Global Business Coalition has recognized Xstrata Coal’s initiatives to respond to HIV/AIDS and TB and support the communities in which we operate in South Africa with a Business Excellence Award. As Xstrata Coal’s groundbreaking public-private partnership demonstrates, through collaboration, business, government, communities and others can combine resources and leverage each other’s strengths to counter the HIV and TB pandemics far more effectively than any one participant could achieve alone.” 

The award recognizes the collaborative partnership that Xstrata Coal and its implementing partner Re-Action have established with the Mpumalanga Department of Health and Social Services, district health authorities and community-based groups, including traditional healers. The partnership includes co-investment from the United States President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which matches funding providing provided by Xstrata. 

Xstrata is working closely with government, community-based organisations, PEPFAR and others to upgrade infrastructure at primary care clinics and four of the province’s hospitals; facilitate the recruitment and retention of health workers in these government facilities; and enable community members to access antiretroviral treatment at their local primary care clinics, including through two Xstrata-sponsored health clinics. 

Peter Freyberg, Xstrata Coal chief executive commented: “We are very proud to be part of a partnership that is responding to the significant issue of HIV/AIDS and TB in South Africa with speed and determination. The success of our programme depends on the commitment and co-operate of each of our partners, and I extend my thanks to the provincial and district health authorities, Re-Action, PEPFAR and communities who are working with us to stop the spread of HIV and TB. We expect to welcome other companies working in South Africa to join our partnership in the near future, to strengthen health services and extend access to HIV testing, counseling and treatment to additional communities.” 

“We’ve reached a critical moment in the struggles against global epidemics, and are poised to move from merely fighting to winning,” said John Tedstrom, executive director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. “We congratulate Xstrata, which has shown the world how companies can deliver remarkable improvements in the health and well-being of the workforce and the broader community. Businesses like Xstrata posses the skills, resources and influence to achieve otherwise inconceivable outcomes. We need many, many more to make their own contribution.”

 


HARMONY BREAKING R46-MILLION WORTH OF NEW GROUND

Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited’s quest to create value and contribute to a vibrant, profitable, safe and environment-friendly mining industry in South Africa took a leap forward with a sustainable integrated human settlement (SIHS) initiative.

According to Graham Briggs, chief executive officer of Harmony, “This is seen as a flagship project by the Department of Housing and Harmony and is receiving the highest priority. We have made certain commitments in the mining social and labour programmes (SLP) to participate and facilitate housing development to provide affordable homes that the mining and general community can purchase. This project is the first commitment of its kind.” 

The first part of a larger development will be the Droogeheuvel and Middelvlei project, comprising around 400 Ha of land owned by Randfontein Estates Ltd, a subsidiary of Harmony. The larger project encompasses 1 990 Ha of land, including privately owned land in the Droogeheuvel, Middelvlei and Westonaria South areas. 

The vision is to establish an integrated and sustainable settlement within the parameters of the National Department of Housing’s “Breaking New Ground” policy. The key players in this development are:

  • Harmony Gold Mining Company as land owner
  • Absa, major bank and funder of the project – particularly the non-subsidised housing sector
  • The Gauteng Department of Housing component
  • The Randfontein Local and West Rand district municipalities
  • Powerhouse Consortium, project management, planning and design services
  • Absa Development Company as the implementing agent for the Joint Venture.  

The initiative arose from the Bekkersdal Renewal Project in which a need was identified to relocate a section of the Bekkersdal community currently living in informal settlements on dolomitic land. Residents of other informal settlements in the Randfontein and Westonaria Local Municipal areas may also be considered for the project in the future. 

SIHS is about progressive housing delivery, with the development of mixed-income, densities, typologies and race in a single community and is addressing space inequities of Gauteng. Ultimately around 6 000 bonded and semi-bonded housing units will occupy the Middelvlei and Droogeheuvel project areas. 

A joint venture is being concluded, with Harmony holding 25% and Absa the remaining 75% share. Independently valued, the land carries a price tag of R46.6-million and comprises Harmony’s 25% equity injection. 

Briggs says that Harmony does not want to be a developer, but has undertaken to form joint ventures with reputable developers to execute its commitment. “Harmony will actively embark on a facilitation process to ensure that available land is developed as part of the Breaking New Ground concept, where integrated and sustainable townships are created.” 

Because home ownership forms the basis of wealth creation in any community, Harmony is actively encouraging it as a way of facilitating the generation of wealth and stability for its work force and their families, and the community in general. 

Subsidised ownership housing will consist mainly of semi-detached units, but will also include some row houses and cluster units for variety. Dwelling will be larger than the standard RDP units (42m2), with better finishes and various other improvements. The non-subsidised ownership homes will be detached units in a variety of sizes and designs, provided by private housing developer and contractors. 

The rental units will be walk-up apartment adjacent to the business and transportation nodes. Surfaced roads will connect all areas of the development and trees will be planted along the major arterials and in public open spaces. Around R200-million has been set aside for community facilities like schools and transport nodes, which will be completed at the same time as the housing. 

The estimated cost of the project is around R1 237-million. Implemented over a 10-year period, the first subsidised units will become available early in 2009 and the first bonded/non-subsidised units during the first half of 2010.  

“This is more than a commitment to the mining Charter,” says Griggs. “This is another commitment to Harmony’s people and those who live in the adjacent communities in which we operate.”

DE BEERS CELEBRATE WOMEN IN MINING

The Big Hole, Kimberley, 30 May 2008 – De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) in the Northern Cape celebrated and shared its “Women in Mining” projects at a function attended by the minister of minerals and energy, Buyelwa Sonjica, and leaders from the mining sector, provincial government and women in technical positions from both Kimberley Mines and Finsch Mine.

Women make up 52% of the adult population in South Africa and 41% of the working South African population, but only constitute 16.8% of all executive managers and 11.5% of all directors in the country. The mining industry aspires to a baseline of 10% participation of women in technical disciplines by May 2009. 

DBCM acknowledges that this is an area of strategic importance that requires a special focus and currently 10% of employees are women who are employed in technical disciplines. In the Northern Cape its operations have embarked on various initiatives that have already resulted in 12% of employees in technical disciplines being women. To advance this programme, Finsch and Kimberly mines recently appointed 26 women to the ‘Women in Mining Development Programme’, a technical leadership experience in mining, metallurgy and engineering. 

In his opening address David Noko, managing director of DBCM said: “The opportunities of integrating women in the mining industry far outweigh the challenges. We have been fortunate to have great women leaders who have helped shape the mining industry in South Africa and, in particular, it is a matter of great pride that DBCM has an increasing number of female employees and board members who have joined the company and are making a difference in various mining-related fields. This evening, we can be proud to have some of those women in our midst, notably our first female operations manager, Mpumi Zikalala. In a historically male-dominated industry, the challenge lies in changing mindsets to transform the workplace into an environment where women are valued as equal partners and leaders”. 

Noko continued: “It is generally accepted, that countries that focus on the development of their people are more competitive and excel in the global market. In South Africa we are faced with a huge skills shortage. With this in mind, De Beers recognizes that the development of human talent is critical in our efforts to build a sustainable economic future and we are proud to be the drivers of another De Beers development in Kimberley- the Centre for Human Capital Development. The centre will be accessible to stakeholders in the Northern Cape, and is set up yo redress the skills shortage in the region and to help overcome this challenge in South Africa. As we continue our efforts on the mines and in the areas in which we operate to make transformation a reality, we will in all of this, endeavour to ‘live up to diamonds’ and the value they represent”.

 

  

 

 

 

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