Over 2,000 South African Miners In New Underground Protest

On Monday, more than 2,200 platinum miners staged the critical mining industry’s fourth underground protest in as many months.

At the Bafokeng Rasimone mine, northwest of Johannesburg, operations were halted in two shafts due to what the owners referred to as a “illegal underground protest”.

2,205 miners have joined the protest, according to Impala Platinum Holdings, often known as Implats, one of the major producers of platinum in the world.

It added in a statement that it was “closely monitoring” the events and that the protest’s motivations were “still to be determined.”

Implats said it had “proactively suspended mining operations at the two shafts and recalled all employees from the underground working areas.”

Authorities have been informed to “safeguard” the miners underground, Implats said.

The company warned it will “address those employees who engage in illegal conduct and criminal acts in a decisive way”.

South Africa has seen a growing number wildcat strikes by miners who occupy the mines, blocking production.

“Illegal underground protests and copycat illegal actions … have become more prevalent in recent months and are a cause for both considerable concern for and disruption to the broader mining industry,” Implats said.

More than 100 gold miners spent nearly three days underground in Springs near Johannesburg in October as part of a dispute between rival unions.

Another 440 staged a protest in another gold mine this month while 250 platinum workers demanding better wages occupied a shaft for three days at the same time.

Mining employs hundreds of thousands of people in South Africa — the biggest exporter of platinum and a major exporter of gold, diamonds, coal and other raw materials.



Written by PH

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