/ 29 July 2010

Miners strike at Northam over deaths

More than 5 000 workers at South Africa’s Northam Platinum went on a one-day strike on Thursday in a protest over the deaths of two miners in an accident last week, the National Union of Mineworkers said.

“This is part of the NUM resolution to observe a day of mourning each time mineworkers lose their lives,” said NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka in a statement.

The two miners died in an accident at the company’s Zondereinde mine in Rustenburg last week, forcing the company to halt production.

Northam Platinum shares fell 1,20% to R44,55 at 8.44am GMT, lagging a 0,4% firmer JSE all-share index.

South Africa has a dire mining safety record compared with the industrialised world, partly because it has some of the deepest mines. Last year, 165 miners died in the country’s mines. – Reuters