B2Gold work stoppage loss not yet determine

• By Erasmus Shalihaxwe

B2Gold Namibia Manager for Public Relations Namasiku Nalisa, said the company has not yet determined how much of a loss it made or the negative impact caused after the company suspended over 150 employees who stopped working last week.

Nalisa said in an interview with Confidente while confirming that only over 150 employees were suspended and not 200 as reported earlier in the local media.

She said that it’s too early to determine how much the company has lost due to the suspension of a large number of employees, because the operation at the company’s Otjikoto mine was not interrupted and everything went ahead as usual.

“The issue has not been resolved yet, and B2G Namibia is currently not in a position to determine any current or future impacts, because the work stoppage related to the mining division did not stop production at the mill,” Nalisa said.

She added that what led to the suspension of the employees was a dispute over whether or not the company was operating legally under the Labour Code, as it was alleged that the Company’s Continuous Operations permit was not valid and subsequently employees participated in an illegal work stoppage.

“B2Gold Namibia advised the employees that it held a valid Continuous Operations Permit, and that any stoppage would be deemed an illegal work stoppage. On 03 October 2022, the Ministry of Labour issued a letter reconfirming the validity of the Continuous Operations Permit for the period of 01 June 2021 to 31 May 2024.

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However, the Otjikoto mine employees continued with the illegal work stoppage and refused to work the full number of hours per their scheduled shifts.

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Despite the illegal work stoppage, the Otjikoto Mine continues to operate,” Nalisa explained.