JOHANNESBURG, March 1 /CNW/ - Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) (JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI) today announced that it has received a notice from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) informing the Company that the NUM intends to embark on strike action across all of Gold Fields' operations in South Africa from Sunday, 7 March 2010.
The NUM has indicated that the strike will proceed indefinitely unless Gold Fields abolishes the Functional Work Capacity Testing System (the System) on all of its South African mines.
The Mine Health and Safety legislation in South Africa requires of an employer to implement a Functional Work Capacity Testing System together with an associated Code of Practice. The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that all individuals working on a mining operation meet the basic standards of fitness required to work safely in an underground situation, and is central to maintaining a safe working environment.
Following consultation with all employee representative organisations, including the NUM, implementation of the System commenced in 2006 for all new recruits at Gold Fields' mining operations in South Africa.
The NUM, however, recently expressed its dissatisfaction with the System following certain new recruits being deemed unfit to work on an underground mining operation after undergoing the test.
As a result Gold Fields and the NUM have been in dialogue for the past six months in an effort to find a solution for the continuation of the System, which would meet the requirements of the law and be acceptable to both the NUM and the Company. The NUM, however, has continued to insist that the System be abolished in its entirety.
Gold Fields and the NUM will be meeting during the week with a view to resolving the matter. Failing resolution of the matter, or withdrawal of the strike notice by the NUM, Gold Fields will have no choice but to apply for an urgent interdict to have the proposed strike action declared illegal.
Vishnu Pillay, Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields' operations in South Africa, commented: "Gold Fields fully intends to continue seeking constructive engagement with the NUM in an effort to find a solution that satisfies the requirements of the law, and is acceptable to the NUM, the Company and all other stakeholders. I am confident that a solution will be found."
About Gold Fields
Gold Fields is one of the world's largest unhedged producers of gold with attributable production of 3.6 million ounces* per annum from nine operating mines in South Africa, Ghana, Australia and Peru. Gold Fields also has an extensive growth pipeline with both greenfields and near mine exploration projects at various stages of development. Gold Fields has total attributable Mineral Reserves of 81 million ounces and Mineral Resources of 271 million ounces. Gold Fields is listed on JSE Limited (primary listing), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), the Euronext in Brussels (NYX) and the Swiss Exchange (SWX). For more information please visit the Gold Fields website at http://www.goldfields.co.za.
* Based on the annualised run rate for the fourth quarter of F2009
SOURCE Gold Fields Limited
For further information: For further information: Gold Fields Limited, Reg. 1968/004880/06, 150 Helen Road, Sandown, Sandton, 2196, Postnet Suite 252, Private Bag X30500, Houghton, 2041, South Africa, Tel +27-11-562-9700, Fax +27-11-562-9838, http://www.goldfields.co.za; Enquiries: Media and Investor Enquiries, Willie Jacobsz, Tel (508) 839-1188, Mobile (857) 241-7127, email Willie.Jacobsz@gfexpl.com; Nikki Catrakilis-Wagner, Tel +27-11-562-9706, Mobile +27(0)83-309-6720, email Nikki.Catrakilis-Wagner@goldfields.co.za; Media Enquiries, Julian Gwillim, Mobile +27(0)82-452-4389, email Julian.Gwillim@goldfields.co.za