Gold Fields of Mazowe (GFM) has reportedly placed the Mazowe gold mine in Zimbabwe under care and maintenance, in a move expected to result in the retrenchment of hundreds of mineworkers.
The workers have been served a three-month notice pending dismissal, NewZimbabwe.com reported citing an undisclosed source.
The source was quoted by the publication as saying: “Workers have been given three months notices pending dismissal. The workers are now rendered jobless and will be waiting for their packages in five months.”
Mazowe Mine, which is part of the Metallon group, is a high-grade, underground gold mining operation, located in Mashonaland Central province, about 50km north of Harare.
The mine has 247 claims covering 2,939ha and comprises two underground operations, the Mazowe and the BSV projects.
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An internal letter to workers, reportedly signed by acting managing director Joseph Chifamba stated: “Please be advised that due to restructuring, your position has become redundant and, accordingly, you are hereby given three months’ notice of termination of your employment.
“The notice period will run from 1st September 2018 to 30th November 2018. In line with the Labour Act, a retrenchment package is being negotiated in the Works Council.”
The company is facing allegations of externalising proceeds to the tune of $30m from its mining operations.
GFM was quoted by African News Agency (ANA) as saying: “GFM is currently undergoing a re-engineering of its operations. The company has suspended underground mining to focus on accelerated mine development which will lead to future mechanisation and volume mining.
“A number of positions will be placed on shifts/short-time while reviews of operations are under way. These measures have been implemented in order to reduce costs, increase productivity, and ensure the long-term viability of GFM for the benefit of employees and all stakeholders.”
GFM noted that surface and underground exploration is in progress.
Furthermore, the company has indicated that underground mining would be restarted by 2021.
Meanwhile, ANA also reported that 200 workers at Shamva Gold Mine, which is also part of the Metallon group, had received similar termination notices.