Johannesburg, South Africa — 22 March 2013 – South African mining company Exxaro Resources may dismiss the 3,200 coal miners who have embarked on an illegal strike at six of its operations in the country if they refuse to return by next week.

JSE-listed Exxaro is a South Africa-based diversified mining group with assets of R37 billion and a market capitalisation of R60 billion. It has a commodity portfolio in coal, mineral sands, base metals and ferroalloys, and growing exposure to iron ore. The company is the second-largest South African coal producer with capacity of 47Mtpa, and the third-largest global producer of mineral sands.

“At this stage the company is weighing its options going forward, but engagement continues with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to try get people back to work and to find a solution,” it said in an emailed response to questions, revealed to Fin24.

"One of the options would be to dismiss striking employees who fail to return to work in the week of 25 March,” it added. The first of the strikes began two weeks ago.

Production at the affected operations has stopped. At this stage, mines supplying coal to Eskom power stations have contingency plans to maintain the functionality of their respective power stations.

Exxaro continues to work closely with Eskom to ensure the availability of coal supply and currently there are adequate levels of supply available.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.