De Beers’ Venetia
diamond mine plant
Johannesburg, South Africa — 05 July 2013 – The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is giving diamond production giant De Beers Consolidated Mines a 48-hour strike notice after mediation failed to resolve a wage dispute between the two parties.

Fin24 reports that NUM general secretary Frans Baleni revealed this to Reuters, but did not say exactly when the NUM would issue the strike notice.

Labour unrest and wildcat strikes have rocked the platinum and gold sectors periodically over the past 18 months, with the violence rooted in a turf war between the once unrivalled NUM and the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

The NUM’s dispute with De Beers is following legal channels and is therefore unlikely to unnerve jittery investors focused on upcoming wage talks in the gold, platinum and coal sectors which are seen as among the toughest ever.

On Wednesday, AMCU refused to sign a government-brokered stability pact aimed at defusing tensions in the mining industry ahead of those talks.

In the case of the NUM and De Beers, the talks went to mediation after the union had dropped its wage hike demand to 13% from 17%, while the company stuck to a 6% offer.

De Beers produced 4Mcts of diamonds in South Africa last year, out of the total of 27.9Mcts it produced worldwide.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.