Major Gold Strike Underway In South Africa
More than 2,000 unionised workers at the Lumwana copper mine, owned by Barrick Gold Corp., went on strike Monday demanding an explanation of their future once the company closes the operation, according to a senior government official.
“They are demanding to know their future when the mine is closed,” Amos Malupenga, the top civil servant in North-Western province, told Reuters.
The strike comes on the heels of a major fire at South Africa’s Harmony Gold when all 486 miners were trapped underground following a fire having been rescued.
The blaze happened around 2.3km (1.43 miles) undergound during maintenance on an air cooler at the Kusasalethu mine, which is a deep level operation of Johannesburg that is Harmoney’s singe largest gold producer.
“All 486 employees have been brought to the surface safely,” company spokeswoman Charmane Russell said.
“This is a credit to employees, unions, company and the efforts of the mine rescue services.”
South Africa’s has the deepest gold mines in the world. They were ranked as some of the most dangerous during the apartheid era. The industry recorded over 100 deaths per annum before 2013, according to the mines ministry.