Tati Nickel Mining Company (TNMC) Acting Managing Director, Ditiro Lentswe last week implored employees of the ailing mining house to remain steadfast in the face of daunting challenges that are be-devilling the mine.
Speaking during the launch of a safety campaign dubbed “Sheq Campaign or ntebe ke go lebe,” Lentswe said TNMC is faced with many challenges, among them low nickel prices and rising production costs.
“It needs to be said that there are more challenges ahead. Mining grades remain low, nickel prices are also low and production costs continue to increase,” he said.?However, said Lentswe, the mine is committed to finalizing sustainability plans to keep its operations afloat. He said TNMC was acquired by BCL from Russian company Norilsk last year and the deal was finalized on the 2nd April 2015.
“We are currently exploring ways to sustain the two operations. Our teams are already evaluating options for TNMC and BCL as part of the sustainability plans. The teams have up to next week to give directions at least covering 2016,” he said.?
Lentswe implored the workers to work as a team and remain focused during this difficult time so that each and every one of them remains employed.?“A lot of you are already uncomfortable. A lot of you are already jumping ship. Those who remain are the heroes and heroines who will see TNMC across the turbulent waters,” he said?.
“Anyone who does not march in a line is dragging our company to closure. We must turn it around and create value for our shareholders. I know what I have just said sounds like a production campaign but I just thought it is necessary for us to understand so that we make the right decisions despite these unprecedented times, with the hope that it will help to get people focused on their jobs. I believe it will enhance your safety,” he added?For his part, Secretary General of Botswana Miners Workers Union (BMWU) Jack Tlhagale, who was also guest speaker at the event applauded the mine for coming up with the SHEQ campaign as one of the platforms to raise awareness and educate its workforce on safety.?
“Safety promotion awareness activities like this one are very important because they play a vital contributory role in improving workplace safety. When sound hazard management practices exist at all operational phases, including facilities planning, machine design, employee training and supervision, housekeeping and emergency response just to mention a few,” he said.?He added that the theme: “nteba ke go lebe; your safety is my safety” is a powerful thought provoking message challenging all employees irrespective of their positions to care for one another.?Tlhagale said the world is faced with a mammoth task of dealing with new occupational health and safety challenges which if not addressed properly could negatively impact on employees wellbeing, safety and organizations’ profitability.?
“This really shows that occupational health and safety is of paramount importance to all emerging economies,” he said. ?Among other important issues, Tlhagale challenged the employees to commit to zero harm. He said responsibility begins with an individual therefore it is crucial for all employees to take responsibility in incidents reduction and make TNMC a better place to work and an employer of choice where employee safety and welfare is a priority. Other organizations such as the Narcotics, Fauna and Flora and BOSASNET also participated in the event as they exhibited their services to employees.