B2Gold lifts worker suspensions

Tujoromajo Kasuto

B2Gold Namibia has confirmed that the labour dispute at the Otjikoto mine has ended with approximately 160 suspended employees returning for duty.

This comes after the 11 October tripartite meeting between the Ministry of Labour, the company and the Mineworkers Union of Namibia to discuss the work stoppage that occurred at the Otjikoto mine and the subsequent suspensions of workers who went on a strike.

‘’During the meeting, the Minister of Labour confirmed that the Continuous Operation permit (CONTOPS) is valid and that the Company should consider lifting the suspensions and impose a different sanction. The Company agreed to discuss the matter further with the MUN on 12 October 2022,’’ said the company in a media release.

Meanwhile, the release states that during the meeting between the company and the MUN, the

MUN acknowledged that their members should have followed the internal grievance and dispute mechanisms available to them before embarking on an unsanctioned work stoppage.

‘’The MUN apologized for the behaviour of their members and further requested that the company reconsiders the lifting of the suspensions. An amicable solution was reached, and the company agreed to lift the suspensions and allow the employees to return to work with a warning. The employees started returning for duty on the morning of 14 October 2022, and the Otjikoto mine is back in full production,’’ the statement reads.

The Otjikoto mine, is Namibia’s largest gold mine, which came into production in December 2014 and successfully transitioned to commercial production, with underground mine development and expansion currently underway.

As of the end of 2021, B2Gold Namibia had a total of 871 permanent employees and 51 temporary

employees, with 98.6% of B2Gold Namibia’s total workforce being Namibian.

The mine is located on commercial farmland, about 2km to the east of the B1 main road between the towns of Otavi and Otjiwarongo, 300km north of Windhoek.

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