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Send  Print  Share  RSS  Twitter  18 Nov 2010

Gold Fields Strike Turns Ugly

 

As the ANCYL tells us it wants full employment, the workers and the people are causing trouble at a gold mine.

Johannesburg, Nov 18 (I-Net Bridge) - The strike by over 3,000 miners at Gold
Fields' (GFI) South Deep mine, now into its fifth day, appears to be turning
ugly with the company "noting with concern" incidents of intimidation and
violence.

In a statement issued Thursday, Gold Fields said a small group of National
Union of Mineworkers' members had damaged property and intimidated non-striking
staff "both at work and at their near-by homes". It also said that several
employees "have been assaulted and injured."

"Gold Fields is extremely disturbed by the developments, which have marred
what has to date been a positive engagement between South Deep management and
the NUM," the company said.

"We will monitor the situation closely and will take appropriate action to
protect our employees and property if and when required."

On Wednesday, market watchers cautioned that a possible sympathy strike
posed a threat to the company, Africa's second largest gold producer, although
the union had not yet served a notice of a secondary strike on the company.

South Deep produces around 200,000 ounces of gold a year and is one of
Gold Fields' major growth projects.

Earlier this week, Citigroup Global Markets estimated in a research note
that Gold Fields was losing around 900 ounces a day in production at South Deep
due to the strike, which is based on the NUM wanting to be involved in the
appointment of senior managers and in procurement and tender processes at South
Deep.

While there has not yet been any evidence of the strike spreading to Gold
Fields' other South African operations, Citigroup said that if the strike were
to spread to mines such as Driefontein, Kloof and Beatrix, up to 60% of Gold
Fields' 9,600 ounces daily output could be affected. Gold Fields also has
operations in Australia, Ghana and South America.

Ends

I-Net Bridge, Tel: +27-11-280-0814, newsdesk@inet.co.za

Copyright 2010 I-Net Bridge. All rights reserved.


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