Work at Gold Fields resumes, but mine strikes not over yet


As Gold Fields announced its operations resumed, another operator said it was hit by a strike, suggesting labour unrest in the mines is far from over.

Gold Fields says operations have resumed have all three of its mines in SA, but this is no indication that labour unrest has ended. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Gold Fields said the reinstatement of 8 500 dismissed workers at its KDC East operations near Johannesburg had ended a 23-day strike and heralded a return to production.

Village Main Reef, one of South Africa's smaller gold producers, said on Tuesday that employees at its Buffelsfontein Gold Mine had embarked on a wildcat strike as of Monday.

The company, which did not disclose the number of employees on strike, said it planned to seek a court order to force the miners back to work.

All of South Africa's major gold producers have been hit by often violent illegal strikes at some or all of their operations in the last three months as labour discontent in the platinum mines spilled over into other sectors.

In the platinum sector, Anglo American Platinum, the world's largest producer, is the only major company still struggling to bring an end to weeks of wildcat strikes by 12 000 workers at its Rustenburg mines and 20 500 at its Amandelbult and Union operations.

The company is losing an average of 3 694 ounces of platinum per day. – Reuters

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