Thursday, October 11, 2012

SA Miner Unrest Spreading to Diamonds

The unrest in South Africa’s mining sector is spreading to diamonds. Petra Diamonds reported on Tuesday that a “limited number” of workers at its Kimberley Underground mine had gone on strike. The company said, however, that production had not been affected that it is in talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Media reports have warned that South Africa faces a “mining meltdown” as the miner unrest over working conditions and pay, which began with the platinum sector, has spread to the gold, diamond, coal and iron ore sectors as well.

The initial flare up at the Lonmin platinum mine at Nkaneng had led to the deaths of nine people including two police officers on August 13 and subsequently the deaths of at least 34 at Marikana on August 16 when police opened fire on protesters.

The unrest appears to have been aggravated by the rivalry between the dominance of the government-recognized NUM with a new union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

Compounding the issue is the bitter rivalry between Julius Malema, the former leader of the African National Congress (ANC) youth wing and the country’s President, Jacob Zuma. Malema has publicly issued an anti-mining message, calling for all mines to be made unmanageable.
Source: idexonline

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