The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has accused gold miner Sibanye-Stillwater of “bragging about its profits” and of “shocking arrogance” while the union’s members remain on strike at the miner’s South African gold operations.
The union said it viewed Sibanye’s market update statement, published on Thursday, and its approach, as “utterly reckless”, adding that it flew in the face of socioeconomic inequality.
The union’s statement, which was sent out on Thursday evening, further accused Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman of purposefully paying workers less, exploitation and cutting corners on safety.
“We knew all along that Sibanye’s claims of poverty were disingenuous lies. They are making good money and they can truly afford to pay their workers a living wage,” AMCU said.
Subsequently, AMCU insisted that it remained steadfast in its focus on the structural injustices in the gold mining sector.
Sibanye on Thursday said its South African platinum group metals (PGMs) operations continued to do well, with the miner expecting its platinum, palladium, gold and rhodium (4E) PGMs production for 2018 to be about 1.17-million ounces.
In a statement detailing updates since November 1, 2018, Sibanye explained that robust palladium and rhodium prices, which had increased by more than 40% in dollar terms in 2018, together with the weaker rand/dollar exchange rate, had boosted the rand 4E PGMs basket price by 19% during the course of the year to more than R15 700/oz, which significantly enhanced revenue.
It had said that the solid performance by the PGMs business, which now accounted for more than 80% of profit, had allowed Sibanye to offset operational disruptions in its gold division.