FILE PHOTO: Mine Captain Kalisa Vincent, 67, walks in a tunnel at the Kilembe mines, in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. Trade union Solidarity said it was disappointed, though not surprised, by AngloGold Ashanti’s announcement that it would possibly sell Mponeng.

JOHANNESBURG  - Trade union Solidarity said on Thursday it was disappointed, though not surprised, by AngloGold Ashanti’s announcement that it would possibly sell Mponeng, its only remaining mine in South Africa, along with all its other mining operations.

“This announcement does not only prejudice job security, but would cause major uncertainty among employees, directly impacting employee morale,” Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis said.

He said AngloGold Ashanti had already drastically scaled down its operations in South Africa over the past few years.

The process of possibly selling selling the mine would hopefully be a responsible one and that a condition of the deal would be that the new owner would take on all of the affected AngloGold Ashanti workers on the same conditions of service, maintaining the same labour relations and safety standards, du Plessis said.

"This implies that the next owner should have the necessary track record, expertise and capital to successfully manage the mine for its potential remaining lifetime of 37 years or more,” he said.

He said AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky had fully briefed trade unions about the decision and Solidarity would work closely with the company to ensure that South African mining expertise was not lost in the process.

“Solidarity will keep a close eye on AngloGold Ashanti’s consideration to sell and if our members’ interests are not protected by the process, we would certainly object to the Competition Tribunal,” du Plessis added.

- African News Agency (ANA)