Gold Fields declares a 14k oz loss as Ghana striking miners come back to work

Gold producer Gold Fields (JSE, NYSE: GFI) said Tuesday it has lost around 14,000 oz of production as a result of week-long strike at its 90%-owned West African mines  —Tarkwa and Damang ‑ in Ghana.

Members of the Ghana Mine Workers Union went on strike on April 2 over several complains, including discontent with the reduced profit share from the group’s last financial year (ended-December 31) and claims its members were treated less well than expatriate employees.

“We have agreed to set up joint, independent committees to look into the various grievances of which the unhappiness over the profit share is a big one,” Sven Lunsche, spokesperson for Gold Fields, told Reuters.

Gold Fields’ profit share scheme implies the company shares after-tax proceeds with employees. But higher taxes in Ghana during the last financial year resulted in a significantly lower payout. Lunsche said a solution might be available in two weeks time.

Ghana now accounts for about 42% of the miner’s gold output, or 890,000oz based on last year’s production.

(Image of the 2012 strikes at Gold Fields operations in South Africa from archives)

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