Tag Archives: workers rights

Harmony Gold achieves fatality free quarter in SA and Papua New Guinea

Harmony Gold Mining’s Kusasalethu mine in South Africa

If a fatality free quarter is a ‘milestone’, how many deaths are normally recorded?

Harmony Gold Mining has announced that its South African and Papua New Guinean operations achieved a milestone fatality free quarter during the June 2017 quarter.

Mining Review Africa | 14 July 2017

Harmony gold’s gold production for the 30 June 2017 financial year is estimated to be 1.088 million oz, which exceeds production guidance of 1.05 million oz. Underground recovered grade increased for a fifth consecutive year to 5.07 g/t.

“We will continue to focus on increasing cash margins through safe, predictable and profitable production” says Peter Steenkamp, CEO of Harmony.

Harmony will announce its operating and financial results for the year ended 30 June, 2017 on Thursday 17 August 2017, during a live presentation at the Hilton Hotel, Sandton, at 09h00 South African time.

In October last year Harmony Gold completed the acquisition of Hidden Valley mine in Papua New Guinea.

The Hidden Valley mine is an open pit gold and silver mine, jointly owned and managed as part of the joint venture between Harmony and Newcrest Mining.

The mine is situated in the highly prospective area of the Morobe province in Papua New Guinea, some 210 km northwest of Port Moresby.

The major gold and silver deposits of the Morobe goldfield and Hidden Valley are hosted in the Wau Graben.

The Hidden Valley-Kaveroi and Hamata pits, located approximately 6 km apart, are in operation.

Ore mined is also treated at the Hidden Valley processing plant.

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Mine workers in Fiji not covered by Health and Safety laws

Mine workers in Fiji are not covered by Occupational Health and safety Laws

Mine workers in Fiji are not covered by Occupational Health and Safety Laws

Union: Miners not covered

Felix Chaudhary | The Fiji Times | November 26, 2016

THE mining sector is not covered under the country’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation, an issue that the Fiji Trades Union Congress is very concerned about.

FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony said miners had been promised they would have their own OHS laws since 2007, and yet, nothing had been done.

Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Minister Jone Usamate confirmed the mining industry was not covered under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1996.

Mr Usamate said the Act applied to all workplaces in Fiji except workplaces or operations connected with the Mining Act, Quarries Act, Explosives Act and Petroleum (Exploration and Exploitation) Act.

“The mining industry is not covered under the health and safety at Work Act as this law deals with health and safety in general whereas in mining, there are industry specific characteristics or risks that are specific to it,” he said.

“The competencies required for mine inspectorates are industry specific whilst OHS inspectors have general health and safety competencies and the mining industry operates under stringent risk management systems that are unique to the mining industry.

“I will look into this issue ensuring at all times that the best interests of Fiji as a whole are our priority.”

Mr Anthony said mine employees worked in a dangerous industry.

“The risk of injury and even death is extremely high and there are no OHS laws to govern their workplace,” he said.

“We are very concerned about the working condition of workers in the mining industry and call on the Government to look into the matter with urgency.”

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Nautilus closes Port Moresby office

nautilus headerInsider

Nautilus Minerals has sacked twenty-six people from their organisation. All of the Port Moresby office employees have been made redundant, AGAIN, and the POM office is closing its doors, AGAIN.

This will be the third time this has happened (redundancies), yet the Executive Committee look like they are sitting pretty YET AGAIN. In all probability MB Holdings will probably buy out the company and see it forward from here.

The employees, the shareholders and the people of PNG have been taken for a ride AGAIN.

Someone should look into the way Nautilus Minerals has been operated over the past 10 years and look closely at how money has been spent on things such as travel, furnishings for offices, nepotism and cronyism, where did the $10M dollars actually go, and how was it possible that Shontel Norgate made a transfer without checking the banking details, and, why was she allowed to keep her job after losing such a huge amount of money???????

The excessive travelling of staff, to and from Moresby office and Brisbane office and the appointment of unqualified people to positions such as CSR Specialist. It is time to stop trusting the individuals from Nautilus (or any other company for that matter) who operate under the concept of White Privilege and realise that if Nautilus Minerals (or whatever form it takes from this point on) or any other company that wishes to exploit the riches and people of PNG, had better start acting in a manner that actually reflects the so called values of the company.

“Nautilus Cares”,  pffff, Yeah Right….

It truly has been a race to the bottom, just not the one we expected to see!

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MCC to resume logging operations at Ramu mine

MCC to resume logging operations at Ramu mine

MCC to resume logging operations at Ramu mine

Post Courier | July 28,2016

Mineral Resources Authority has granted permission for Ramu NiCo to resume logging operations at its Kurumbukari mine site. The permission was issued by Inspector Joseph Umare last Monday following a visit to the mine and logging training sites after the  logging cessation order was imposed in August last year by the inspectorate following a fatality following the logging activity by a logging contractor.

Mr Umare in a letter presented to the registered mine manager and general manager of KBK mine Sarimu Kanu reads: “the matter has been examined in the light of what is stated in your submissions referred above along with assessments of training and competencies of your logging operators as well as the discussions held with you and your senior management team at your KBK Mine site.”

“The assurance and commitment given by you and your senior management team to take all necessary measures to ensure health and safety of all persons in your Logging Operation at KBK Mine, I hereby grant you permission to Resume Logging Operation at your KBK Mine.”

The permission was given with several conditions including the health and safety of logging crews and those who are engaged in the logging activity.

The logging permission follows immediately after the permission by the Inspectorate on Thursday, July 21, granting the company regular operation permission, permission for the restart and operation of HPAL (high pressure acid leach) Train Three at Basamuk refinery and the relaxation of cessation order of blasting of limestone at the Basamuk refinery quarry.

The SML8 land area allocated for mining activity at Kurumbukari in the Bundi LLG is mostly covered by natural forest and the permission by the Mines Inspectorate for logging now paves way for the company to clear the area without disruption.

The selected logs of economic value will be transported out of the mine site to a designated milling site by a contractor already engaged by the company.

Ramu nickel/cobalt project is the only mining company conducting logging activity apart from its approved mining permit for the benefit of the local landowners and the province given the economic value of the tree species.

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“Serious unsafe and defective systems” at ‘World Class’ Ramu mine

basamuks

Chief Inspector of Mines found “serious unsafe and defective management systems” after a fatal accident

Basamuk mine [sic] set to re-open

Post Courier | June 30,2016

Ramu Nickel mine is set to re-commence operations at the Basamuk Refinery. This was announced by the Chief Inspector of Mines Lave Michael granting the permission pursuant to powers under the Mining (Safety) Act 1977.

Mr Michael explained that permission had been granted for the company to operate High Pressure Acid Leach  (HPAL) trains 1 and 2 only, while train 3 would still be closed as it was still under investigation. He said the permission was granted on June 28 on site, after the company satisfactorily met the Inspector’s rectification requirements on trains 1 and 2. Trains are process facilities where slurry from the mine is separated into different mineral products.

The permission comes after more than 11 weeks of cessation of operations, following a fatal incident on April 12 that resulted in the death of a Chinese national employee, and the serious injuries of two local employees. The company was ordered by the Mineral Resources Authority’s Mine Inspector, to cease operations following the incident.

The incident resulted from serious unsafe and defective management systems that were prevalent on the HPAL trains.

As part of the cessation order, Ramu Nickel was tasked to engage an internationally reputable third party investigator, to carry out a thorough investigation and provide a detailed report on the three trains. The report was submitted to the inspector on June 12 following which the inspector allowed the company to conduct remedial and repair works on the HPAL trains. Following this, inspectors visited the refinery on June 23 and conducted verification of the repair and remedial works which resulted in the granting of permission to operate HPAL trains 1 and 2.

The Chief Inspector stated that it is government’s expectation that all mines operating in PNG do so safely and observe their regulatory responsibilities.

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“World Class” Ramu Nickel Sacks Union Leader and All Union Members

MCC's tax free Ramu mine headquarters in Madang

MCC’s tax free Ramu mine headquarters in Madang

Bismarck Ramu Group

Ramu Nickel (MCC) Management continue with their oppressive abuse of Papua New Guinea workers. It appears if you speak out – and call the Chinese out for what they are and what they do – you have to go.

Justine Mende, the President of the Ramu Nico Allied Workers Union was recently sacked for – well for standing up for the rights of PNG workers and trying to insure they are treated with a bit more respect than they are getting from the Chinese management.

Obviously the Chinese are quite nervous about a person like Justine for after sacking him the MCC “management” began circulating a memo WITH HIS PHOTO letting people know that Justine is restricted to enter MCC’s operational and refinery sites and is to be arrested if he is found on those sites. They said he would be trespassing.

What the Chinese are really nervous about is that Justine continue to inform the workers of their rights and how they do not have to be take the nonsense from the kongs nor continually be disrespected by them. The workers are beginning to take heed of that message and the Chinese are rightfully worried.

So worried are the Chinese they have sacked MORE THAN 50 PNG employees since the High Pressure Acid Leach Auto Clave at Basamuk on 12 April.

In addition to the sacking of 50 PNG employees the MCC “management” has terminated ALL members of the Allied Workers Union.

And why is no one looking into this. Well we know don’t we. They’ve all been bought off and Jim Kas is too busy getting drunk with his lackeys at the Star International Hotel.

Justine is taking the matter to Court as well he should. The Chinese have no concept of what that means.

Keep it going Justine. Hopefully people in Madang will show the same spirit as the University Students and start standing up for whats right and not accepting the nonsense that the Chinese continue to deal out.

Stay tuned folks.

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MCC termination of national employees questioned

basamuk mcc ramu mine

Bismarck Ramu Group

The termination of 51 National employees (mostly union members) by the Ramu NiCo (MCC) Management on 2nd, May 2016 and the laying – off of another 289 employees is severely questionable and cannot be justified.

Before understanding the above statement, let us rewind back to a certain incident that sparked the mass termination of National Employees.

On 12th April 2016 the incident at the High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) AutoClave at Basamuk Refinery resulted in the death of a Chinese National and two national employees being injured.

Following the incident, on 15th April, 2016 the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) issued specific directives to cease operations in the HPAL areas and withdraw persons engaged in or being in those areas..

The Ramu NiCo (MCC) Management claimed that due to orders from the MRA and FINANCIAL INSTABILITY (where did that came from?) the company would;

  • Retain a few employees
  • Lay-Off a few Employees; and
  • Terminate employees

So, they proceeded with the termination of 51 National Employees, 34 of whom were members of the Ramu NiCo Allied Workers Union from both the Refinery at Basamuk and operations at Kurumbukari.

Chinese workers at the Ramu mine's Basamuk processing site

Chinese workers at the Basamuk processing site

The Ramu NiCo Allied Workers union established on August 14th, 2013 under the Industrial Organizations Act had been vocal on many neglected issues of the national employees. For instance, in 2013, National Employees raised concerns and took action in protest of the poor working condition with low pay and inhuman treatment by the Chinese employers.

A conference was then held to address these issues and the outcome of the conference was the signing of the Ramu Nickel Project Operations Industrial Award 2014-2017 on 15th March 2014.

Fast-forward to 2016, on January 7th, on that day the Union presented the MCC Management a 11 point petition on employees wellbeing and safety issues and gave the management 21 days to respond.

The management responded to the 11-point petition on 20th January only to withdraw the original response the very next day (what a load of crap) and called for a meeting with the union to provide a detail response to the petition.

This nonsense by the MCC Management forced national employees to stop work. They then waited for the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations (DIRL) for necessary instrument for a Compulsory Conference, which was released by Herman Joseph Gire of DIRL.

However, the Compulsory Conference held from 29th January to 8th March 2016 was a total a waste of time, according to the union executive.

The union could not get across their resolutions and the draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) prepared by the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) of the Compulsory Conference, which they unanimously disagree to and had requested for a Industrial Tribunal. This was simply because the conference chairman Mr Philip Wori, was conveniently unavailable. (Gee- wonder why) Note here that Mr Wori was suppose to advise the union of their next step and give them a copy of his report.

Whilst waiting for the conference chairman to respond and make himself available to assist the union the Union Executive were terminated along with 34 union members.

This Union who represents the national employee at Ramu Nickel since conception had been raising serious concerns but the management always brushes their concerns aside. The Chinese seem to care more about their machines then the person(s) operating them. The Ramu Nickel Project Operations Industrial Award 2014-2017 signed on 15th March 2014 plays the role of a rubber stamp as the company failed to honour its commitment.

Whenever, issues rises regarding the Industrial Award 2014 to 2017, the management always refers them to the review, which is due on 15 December 2016. What good is a review when you cannot honour your current deal?

The bullshit review will only act as a rubber stamp, to make the Ramu NiCo management look good, but everyone knows they live up to the MCC acronym – MCC – MORE CHINESE CRIMINAL, who has no respect for the national employees and the constitution of our country.

The mass termination of national employees by the Ramu NiCo MUST be seen for what it truly is.

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