South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers said on Thursday gold producers had not moved on their wage offer, leaving protracted talks in a stalemate.
NUM general secretary David Sipunzi told reporters the companies, AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold and Sibanye Gold, were giving his members "the middle finger."
The union has not declared a dispute which would send the process to a government mediator, a legal step needed before a strike could be called.
"We must report back to our members though there is nothing to report" he said.
Sipunzi said small moves had been made in areas such as medical compensation.
The producers are meeting separately with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union on Friday to discuss membership numbers.
AMCU claims to have a majority of workers as its members, while the NUM is officially still the leading union according to the latest audit of labour representation in the sector.
The numbers are important because past deals worked out with the biggest union have been imposed on others with smaller memberships and AMCU's wage demands are the highest.