AngloGold’s Cutifani Sees South Africa Solution in Months

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG) Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani said he expects a solution in the next couple of months to mine labor unrest in South Africa that has resulted in the death of 44 people.

While a resolution is “hard to see” at the moment, “we will find a solution in the next month or two, we’ll come together and redefine a pathway that seeks to answer the right issues,” said Cutifani, who also serves as vice president of South Africa’s Chamber of Mines, a group that negotiates wages on behalf of gold and coal companies. Cutifani spoke in an interview yesterday in Denver, where he’s attending the Denver Gold Forum.

Mediators yesterday failed to persuade Lonmin Plc (LMI) workers to return to their jobs as a strike at the Marikana mine entered its second month. Forty-four people have been killed at the site in the deadliest mine violence since the end of apartheid. Striking workers are seeking higher wages at the mine, which accounts for about 10 percent of global platinum production.

Employees of Gold Fields Ltd. and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. have also demanded higher pay in South Africa.

AngloGold Ashanti, the third-biggest producer of the metal, has six deep-level mines and employed 32,082 people in South Africa last year, according to the Johannesburg-based company’s website. Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. are the two largest producers ranked by 2010 production.

“We’ve all got to work harder on the social issues; connecting and communicating better with the workforce is important,” Cutifani said. “The union has to also have a look in the mirror and think about its processes to improve the way it’s connecting.”

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