Barrick announces job cuts at North Mara Mine

Dar es Salaam. Barrick North Mara plans to cut more jobs as part of reorganization to meet operational requirements and increase efficiency.

This comes just a few months since it acquired minority shares of Acacia Mining.

The revelation was made via company’s internal memo obtained yesterday by The Citizen and which was confirmed by a senior official of North Mara.

According to the memo, the move follows a thorough review of labour to determine if there is the right size of staff with the right skills in the company.

However, the official who requested anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media,  said the contents of the memo were genuine, but were not for public consumption yet.

“As per legal requirements, we are issuing this notice to all employees and the same has been issued to Numet, the trade union for mining workers, as the union with bargaining and negotiation rights at North Mara,” reads part of the leaked internal memo signed on January 13, this year by Mr Luiz Correia, North Mara Mine general manager. Departments that will be affected, according to the memo, are human resource, open pit mining, assets liability, supply chain, plant engineering, sustainable communities and environment, health and safety.

It was specified in the memo that 110 positions will be affected in this process.

Mr Correia said in the memo that the company management has now opened consultation process with the union and workers have been told that they will be informed on the outcomes of the consultations in due course.

“Management understands this situation is not easy but a necessary step in protecting long term interest of our people, our business and other stakeholders. We will do everything possible to comply with the law and not to drag this process unnecessarily and I am asking you to remain calm and observe all safety measures we have in place during this process,” Mr Correia wrote.

Efforts to reach the company head of human resources, Mr Simon Sanga, proved futile as his phone was not picked.

This is the fourth time the gold mining firm is retrenching workers from the time before and after the government banned exports of mineral concentrates in March, 2017 in what President John Magufuli’s administration said was a deliberate move meant to ensure that Tanzania gets the rightful share of proceeds from mining activities.

In 2015, 1,050 employees, about 27 per cent of overall staff lost their jobs in what was described as low gold price.

The cut was aimed at saving about $25 million (£16.7 million) per year, prior to a restructuring charge of about $11 million predominantly in 2015, the company reported.

In September 2018, Bulyanhulu Gold Mine, one of the three mines then operated by Acacia and now Barrick culminated in retrenchment  to balance with costs.

On September 4, 2017, the company also announced a decision to reduce operational activity at Bulyanhulu largely due to unsustainable cash outflows at the mine as a result of the ban.