Harmony to re-open Kusasalethu mine

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IOL BR mining PIC001 REUTERS File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - South Africa's Harmony Gold said on Thursday it would reopen its Kusasalethu mine west of Johannesburg after it had been closed for weeks because of labour violence.

Around 6,000 jobs were on the line if the mine had of been closed for good, a potential flash point after South Africa's mining sector was rocked by a wave of labour unrest last year that unleashed violence and killed over 50 people.

Harmony said in a statement the start-up plan would begin on Friday and the mine should be back to normal production by the end of June.

“In terms of the agreement it was also agreed that each employee would sign a code of conduct to show their individual commitment to ensuring that Kusasalethu is mined in a safe and secure way with full respect for the rule of law,” the company said.

“A monitoring committee will be established ... to ensure that the guarantees and undertakings in the agreement are complied with,” the company said.

The company has not reopened the mine after its close over the Christmas holiday following fears of further violence and intimidation among workers.

According to Harmony's website, Kusasalethu in the 2011 financial year produced around 180,000 ounces of gold, about 14 percent of group production. - Reuters

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