Bushveld signs five year wage agreement with AMCU for Vametco employees

BUSHVELD Minerals said it had signed a five-year wage agreement with the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (AMCU) for employees at its Vametco operation.

The agreement provides for a seven per cent increase in 2023, then approximately 6.5% for the subsequent years, the company announced.

“This long term agreement is a first for our company and an important step to maintain operational stability, long-term labour amity that will allow the company to focus on executing our strategic initiatives and meeting our objectives,” said Fortune Mojapelo, CEO of Bushveld Minerals.

Mojapelo said in January the company had “turned the corner” after a difficult 18 to 24 months of undershooting production promises. “We have had three solid quarters of production and we are getting a better time in the vanadium market in a way that supports primary producers,” he said.

The company has targeted production of 4,200 to 4,400 metric tons of vanadium for the current financial year which compares to production of 3,592 tons in 2021. The increase was owing to the commissioning in the second quarter of kiln 3 at the firm’s Vanchem facilities in the North West province of South Africa.

Last year’s production was below expectations owing to Covid-19 interruptions, labour disruption and maintenance of the firm’s Vametco facilities. The company reported a $1.50 per share loss for the six months ended June 30 owing to the disruption and exacerbated by a firming of the rand against the dollar.