Johannesburg - Sibanye Gold announced on Monday that it has secured a two-year wage agreement with the United Steel Workers of America, International Union, the representative union at its Stillwater Operations in Montana, USA. 

Last month, Sibanye completed the acquisition of Stillwater, the United State’s sole provider of platinum and palladium, for $2.2 billion (about R30 billion), in a bid to create a premier global precious metals miner. Sibanye said negotiations with the United Steel Workers of America, International Union at East Boulder, would take place at year end. 

In terms of the agreement there will be a two percent general wage increase for all job categories effective from June 2, this year to January 1, 2018, with a further one percent increase effective from January 1, 2018 to June 1, 2018. A two percent annual increase will be in effect for the second year of the agreement, from June 2, 2018 to June 1, 2019. 

Sibanye chief executive, Neal Froneman, said they were very pleased to have secured this wage agreement soon after having acquired the Stillwater Operations. "We note and are encouraged by the sensible and mature manner in which stakeholders have engaged, to agree on a mutually favourable outcome for the company and employees," Froneman said. 

"We look forward to similar engagement with all of our stakeholders at the Stillwater Operations and are optimistic about the important role these operations will play in the future of the Sibanye Group." Sibanye is the largest individual producer of gold in South Africa and is one of 10 largest gold producers globally. Meanwhile, Sibanye has fired around 1 500 workers taking part in a wildcat strike at its Cooke mine in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Workers at the mine downed tools over a week ago, angered by a company drive to root out illegal miners which has included the arrest of employees for collusion and taking food down to the illegal miners working underground.