Palabora mine, with
the pit in the background
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — 19 March 2013 – Workers at Palabora Mining Company have extended an underground protest, halting mining operations at the country’s largest copper mine, says the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Fin24 quotes NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka as saying: “They are demanding additional danger pay for working underground.”  He added that the nearly 100 striking workers had been on strike since last week. Underground operations had been suspended after the workers started their sit-in last Wednesday.

“This action by the crews is a significant concern and is in contravention of their obligations to the mine’s policies,” the company said in a statement.

Palabora, South Africa’s only producer of refined copper, produces about 80,000t of refined copper a year.

Meanwhile the fresh wave of illegal strikes in South Africa has gained momentum, with protests at Exxaro’s Grootgeluk coal mine in Limpopo province turning violent yesterday as police fired rubber bullets at a group of 2,000 strikers.

“The protesters hijacked two trucks and blocked the roads,” said Limpopo police spokesperson Ronel Otto.

Diversified mining group Exxaro has reported wildcat strikes at five of its coal mines unnerving investors worried about a repeat of the  violent protests that shook South Africa’s economy last year

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.