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Mines crippled by strike

Published: 28-JUN-05

South African mines were crippled yesterday as 80 percent of gold miners stayed away from work, to join in Cosatu's nationwide strike.

AngloGold Ashanti spokesperson Steve Lenahan said all of its South African mines had shut down." None of our 27 000 employees are at work," Lenahan said. AngloGold wanted to meet the unions to discuss how to make up for the lost production.

AngloGold produces about 350kg of gold a day and at yesterday's gold price the day's production had a value of about R33 million.

" There would be no chance to make up the lost production." said the chief executive of South Deep, John Bredenham, after only a handful of employees went to work.

Gold Fields had a mixed turnout, according to spokesperson Willie Jacobsz. Production losses totalled about 150kg of gold for the day.

The coal industry had 70 percent of its workforce absent and was the second most badly affected mining sector. There was a 50 percent turnout on the platinum and diamonds mines. Analysts do not know how much of South Africa's daily mineral exports of R400 million was affected.

Cosatu want businesses to save jobs instead of cutting them for short-term commercial gain.

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