Gold Fields Ltd. reached a three-year wage agreement with its registered trade unions at its South Deep mine in South Africa. The agreement, which also includes other conditions of employment, was signed with the National Union of Mineworkers and UASA, and will result in average annual wage increases of 10% over the term of the deal.

The first increase will take effect on April 1. The negotiations took place at the company level in recognition of South Deep’s significantly different operating model and labor profile to that of the other gold mining companies in South Africa.

South Deep is the only fully mechanized gold mining operation in South Africa and employs 3,500 miners. As such, Gold Fields said it had to give due consideration to the scarcity of mechanized mining skills in South Africa and take a holistic approach in its negotiations with labor.