Sunday, June 4, 2023

Cormidom announces the suspension of production operations

The Dominican Mining Corporation (Cormidom) who operates the Cerro de Maimon minedecided to officially suspend the productive operations of the mine and begin a maintenance process.

This is due to an “external, extreme and force majeure situation and in order to safeguard the integrity of its employees and future operations”.

Below is the full statement from thecurrent situation of Cormidom:

Since the beginning of its operations, in 2009, Cormidom has placed workers and their families at the center of each of its actions. He has been sowing the future in the Dominican Republic for 14 years. It has generated more than 1,100 jobs generally inside the mine. Of these, 710 jobs are direct in Cormidom and 84% remain in the Monsignor Nouel province.

These direct jobs generate, in turn, thousands of indirect jobs in the communities, boosting the economy in the area.

The company maintains a work practice with very competitive salaries and benefits.

Cormidom applies environmentally responsible mining practices, guaranteeing and improving the ecosystem from the area. It is the first carbon neutral mining company in the world, a fact recognized by the United Nations. Its environmental practices have been recognized by UNDP.

Cormidom also runs a broad support program for town halls and communities, which includes education, sports, and support for small entrepreneurs in the communities and support for the local economy.

The company has paid RD$ 344,827,967 to the Maimon Town Hall under Law 64-00. The most recent payment was RD$29MM in September 2022.

Shareholder confidence: Initially, the mine was an open pit operation that ended its operations in 2015. Thanks to the trust of the shareholders who invested in exploration, it was possible to extend the useful life to 30 more years, modifying the type of extraction from open pit to underground.

Since 2018, when the underground mine expansion project began, the shareholders have invested a capital of US$533M, including exploration work, improvements to the production plant and tunnel development, all through own financing and capital.

Total company investment divided between Mineral Property, Plant and Equipment, Exploration and Capital from 2005-2022 was US$874M.

Cormidom supports and respects the trade union rights of its employees. It has a long-standing, open, close relationship with dialogue with the Union of Workers of the Cerro de Maimón Mine (Sitracema), founded more than a decade ago. And mutual collaboration agreements have been signed in the areas of salary improvements, health insurance, working conditions, support for education, funeral expenses, maternity and paternity leaves, among others.

Since 2010, there has been a collective agreement with the union that is renewed every three years. The most recent dates from 2020, a time when we were in the midst of the pandemic and the shareholders not only negotiated a collective agreement, but also continued to pay 100% of the salaries to the employees despite the fact that the mine was closed. for 8 months, paying RD$304,906,718.38 in payroll in that period.

Additionally, at that time, as a sign of the company’s commitment to its employees, they received a solidarity bonus to help them alleviate this difficult situation that all families were experiencing worldwide, which amounted to the total amount of RD$29,515,498.88, which was equivalent to one month’s salary for workers. And, in addition, the company disbursed RD58,842,328 in health support for workers.

Those collective agreement negotiations every three years mean that each year workers receive a bonus. In April 2021, RD$29,515,498.88 was paid corresponding to the year 2020. During the period 2018-2022, Cormidom has paid for bonus a total of RD$154,365,967.49.

In order to continue supporting the well-being of its workers and their families, in November 2022, Cormidom began negotiations with the union for a new collective agreement. However, last year the company was closed for approximately 5 months, which obviously had a significant financial impact. Thanks to the teamwork and union of all, the shareholders and workers, the company achieved benefits, but they were not enough to pay the entire year, but the proportion as established by the agreement and the same Labour code.

In April 2023, Cormidom paid RD$18,245,214 as a bonus corresponding to the year 2022. In fact, for the company to continue operating, the shareholders had to send US$2,000,000.00 a week, which means US$105,000,000.00 for the payment of salaries and other costs of business operations that year.

To this it should be added that the solidarity support of Cormidom’s shareholders has been limited by the global financial crisis. And like many other multinationals, Cormidom’s shareholders have been forced to close 2 mines in Australia, in which an estimated 300 jobs will be lost.

Notwithstanding this, by 2023 the shareholders have budgeted to send Cormidom US$156,000,000.00 to complete the necessary deficit to continue operations. This is equivalent to US$3,000,000.00 per week for the payment of wages and other operating and development costs.

The negotiation process has had the mediation of the Ministry of Labor and the former Minister of Labor, Rafael Alburquerque, but none of the meetings have borne fruit as a result of the excessive and even personal demands of the president of Sitracema, Rubén García (Macho), who is a candidate for mayor for the Fuerza del Pueblo and is using this he struggles to capitalize on his aspirations, especially when calculating the juicy sum of money that the company delivers to the mayor’s office from the 5% established by law. This is to the detriment of the company’s employees who need to return to work to support their families and live in peace.

The union has halted work at the mine since Monday, May 8, and has blocked access to the same illegal way. Employees who want to go to work cannot do so. This represents large losses for the company, so the situation becomes unsustainable, simply due to the foolishness of a group that refuses to accept what the collective agreement and the Labour code, since at no time did the company refuse to pay the bonus according to the proportion of last year in which it was operating, since it was closed for almost 5 months and paid RD$18 million. This seriously affects the financial stability of the company and compromises the safety of future operations.

Due to the external, extreme and force majeure situation, and in order to safeguard the integrity of its employees and future operations, the shareholders have made the difficult decision to officially suspend the productive operations of the mine and enter into a process only of maintenance; The company has already initiated the due processes before the competent authorities.

Cormidom has always been known for conducting its operations honestly and transparently, complying with its obligations under the Law, particularly those contained in Mining Law No. 146-71, 64-00 of Environment and Natural Resourcesjust like him Labor Code and the Collective Agreement. Cormidom continues to bet on a quick solution to this situation through mutual respect and dialogue, and reaffirms its commitment to the people of Maimón and the surrounding communities.


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