Three South African gold mining firms and three trade unions on Thursday reached an agreement to end the strikes on the gold mining sector. The deal was signed at the Chamber of Mines by the gold mining sector\'s AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony Gold Mining Company and the trade unions of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (UASA) . The terms of the new agreement are not made known to the public, but the NUM said it was satisfied with the deal. \"We have already signed that, we are feeling very good about it, and we expect that everybody else in the gold sector will return to work,\" said NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka. The spokesperson said about 80 percent of the striking gold miners have returned to work. As the third largest gold mining firm in South Africa, the Harmony Gold Mining company said its striking miners at the Kusasalethu mine had returned to the mine by the ultimatum of 6:00 a.m. local time on Thursday to avoid being fired. South Africa\'s AngloGold Ashanti is a global gold producer with 21 operations on four continents.\"About 12,000 striking miners failed to follow the ultimatum to return to the mine by noon on Wednesday, the company hopes the new deal would help to get them back,\" AngloGold Ashanti said. Being ranked the world\'s fourth largest gold producer, South Africa\'s Gold Fields said the dismissed 7,300 miners at its KDC East mine on Tuesday started to appeal their dismissal on Thursday morning and that the court would rule on the case over the next week. South Africa is reported to hold about 35 percent of the world gold reserves. Its gold mining sector with nearly 300,000 miners has become a major contributor to its economic growth. However, in recent months the gold mining sector in South Africa has sustained heavy losses due to the large-scale strikes by the miners who demanded the improvement of their working condition and rise of their monthly salary.