Harmony Gold signed a three-year wage agreement with South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and two other unions on Wednesday, the company and unions said on Wednesday.
Harmony said in a statement that the deal would see a R700 a month pay hike in the first year for the lowest-paid underground workers, an increase of about 9 percent according to Reuters' calculations, almost double the inflation rate. Similar percentage increases follow in the next two years.
NUM last month inked a three-year wage deal with AngloGold Ashanti that saw a 12% pay hike for entry-level underground workers.
Depressed prices and rising costs mean South African mining companies have scant room for big wage hikes but unions maintain the increases come off a low base rooted in the apartheid past when the black labour force was exploited and underpaid.