Diamond producer De Beers has signed a three-year wage deal with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Anglo American unit announced on Tuesday.

The agreement comes after the two sides initially hit a deadlock during negotiations, forcing the government labour mediator to step in and handle discussions.

“The discussions were undertaken over several months in a peaceful fashion within the framework of South Africa’s progressive labour legislation,” De Beers chief executive Phillip Barton said in a statement.

First of its kind

The three-year-duration wage deal was the first of its kind with NUM, said De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), which runs the Venetia diamond mine, in Limpopo province, and the Voorspoed diamond mine, in the Free State.

The miner also has employees at De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa in Kimberley, where sorting, valuing and diamond beneficiation initiatives are under way.

The wage deal includes a 9% basic pay increase for lower level employees while higher level workers receive an overall package increase of the same margin.

The deal, which affects about 1 700 workers, also includes a housing subsidy for employees owning homes in areas surrounding De Beers’ four operations.

Housing subsidy

De Beers said that a subsidy towards homes owned by employees in areas where employed will also be paid.

“The package put together rewards and I hope incentivises,” DBCM CEO Phillip Barton said in a media release to Mining Weekly Online.

He said that South Africans had shown an ability to settle amicably in recognition of being on a journey to secure a common future as a company, industry and country.

Barton said that pay discussions had taken place peacefully over several months within the framework of South Africa’s progressive labour legislation.

Additional Reading?

Request Free Copy