Johannesburg, South Africa — 25 September 2012 – South African labour unrest in the platinum industry has spread to AngloGold Ashanti Limited “’ the world’s third-largest gold producer, halting a second gold mine after Gold Fields Limited’s KDC West was stopped two weeks ago.
Bloomberg News quotes AngloGold spokesman Alan Fine as saying that no demands have been made by workers at the affected Kopanang mine.
Fine said the 5,000 workers had not yet communicated their demands to the company. “The night shift embarked on an unprotected strike at Kopanang and the morning shift didn’t go down either,” Fine said.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the strikers wanted a wage of R12,500 a month, mirroring demands at other mines.
A record 22% pay rise for employees at Lonmin plc after an illegal six-week strike and the worst mine violence since apartheid fueled concern that more miners would use violence or unauthorised stoppages to press wage demands.
Miners mainly on the country’s platinum belt northwest of Johannesburg have bypassed conventional wage-talk routes through labour unions, starting illegal pay strikes and protests.
Impala Platinum Holdings Limited , the second-largest producer of the metal, said it was undertaking a full review of wages as workers made fresh pay demands after the company boosted wages in April as part of a deal that ended a six-week strike at its Rustenburg operation “’ the world’s largest platinum mine “’ in January and February.
At AngloGold, the strike is currently confined to a single mine, the company said in a statement. AngloGold produces about 32% of its gold in South Africa, where mining accounts for about
8.8 % of gross domestic product.
Work stoppages this year have cost South Africa’s largest economy R4.5 billion rand in lost output, President Jacob Zuma said here last week.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.