FILE PHOTO: Liquid gold is poured to form gold dore bars at Newmont Mining's Carlin gold mine operation near Elko Nevada.

JOHANNESBURG – Gold producer Village Main Reef has concluded a three year agreement for wage increases of up to seven percent with the National Union of Mineworkers and fellow unions Solidarity and UASA, Minerals Council South Africa said on Friday.

The three unions represent 76 percent of employees within the gold sector bargaining unit of around 6 400 employees. The Minerals Council said the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) was still considering the offer.

"The three-year agreement, concluded under the auspices of the Minerals Council, allows for increases to the basic wage of Category 4-8 employees of R575 in each of the next three years," it said.

"Miners, artisans and officials will receive increases of 4.25 percent in the first year of the agreement, and increases equal to the CPI (consumer price inflation) in each of the following two years. For underground entry level employees, this is a seven percent increase in the first year."

In addition to the basic wage, the parties agreed to an increase in the living-out allowance for Kopanang employees amounting to R100 in September 2018, and R50 in each of the two subsequent years, taking the total to R2 300. Those at Village’s Tau Lekoa mine already receive that amount.

Village Main has also agreed to incremental increases in the minimum severance payment to R36 000 over the three-year period by increasing the current benefit by R2,000 a year.

It will also extend the medical contribution concession for category 4 to 8 employees who choose to join a company recognised medical scheme to 60 percent for the employer and 40 percent for employees for the duration of the agreement.

The company will pay women employees four months paid maternity leave with the option of spreading the four months paid maternity leave over a period of six months.

The Minerals Council said wage negotiations at Sibanye-Stillwater with AMCU, the NUM, Uasa and Solidarity were continuing under the auspices of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Agreements have already been reached with AngloGold Ashanti and Harmony.

African News Agency (ANA)