Today's Labour News

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Sibanye StillwaterBL Premium reports that its 2023 annual report released on Friday, Sibanye-Stillwater laid bare its efforts to tackle the illegal miners who have infiltrated its operations to fleece the group of millions of rand in precious metals.

The group said its SA gold operations were a target for organised crime syndicates dealing in precious metals, with illegal underground mining being the company’s biggest security threat. The group recorded more than 450 incidents of illegal mining in 2023, with 1,239 arrests made at its gold operations. The mining house also reported 2,010 copper-related incidents. “Illegal miners and syndicate leaders have intensified their use of complicit employees to gain access to the underground workings and compromise our access controls. In terms of addressing the integrity of security officials, protection services continues to work with the group’s organisational growth function, with Psira [the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority], and with business partners as we refine our efforts to address collusion,” the Sibanye reported. For the year under review, 451 incidents of collusion with illegal miners were recorded. Sibanye said it had uncovered a modus operandi in which some of its employees cloned their fingerprints through latex moulds and gave their clock cards to illegal miners. Of concern was that while contractors made up just 2,956 of the group’s 22,300 gold mining workforce, they constituted 56% of incidents of collusion with illegal miners. The company decried the “leniency” shown by the justice system to illegal miners arrested at its operations, saying the sentences handed down did not serve as a deterrence. Illegal mining activities are said to cost SA’s formal mining industry more than R7bn annually.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kabelo Khumalo at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

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