Northam suspends operations at Zondereinde Mine

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Northam Platinum has temporarily suspended operations at its Zondereinde Mine due to NUM members’ embarking on an unprotected strike.

The company said that only essential service employees will be expected to report for duty.

Zondereinde Mine produces 65 per cent of Northam’s annual production and revenue losses are expected to equate to around 11.5 million rand per day while employees will forfeit wages and benefits of around 2.4 million rand per day.

“This decision has been taken amidst rising tension at the mine, owing to incidents of intimidation, assault and threats of violence towards non-striking employees and damage to property on 15 January 2015. A large number of employees signalled a desire to return to work on 15 January in line with the direction of the Labour Court,” said [DATA NHM:Northam Platinum LTD.] in a statement.

(READ MORE: S.Africa’s Northam Platinum says wildcat strike hits Zondereinde mine)

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesman, Livhuwani Mammburu told Reuters on Thursday that the strikers want the chief executive of Northam Platinum to be removed from the board due to unfair hiring and firing practices

Northam said that its Zondereinde management will continue to engage with the NUM in a bid to normalise operations as soon as possible and urges the union to take heed of the Peace and Stability Framework for the Mining Industry, signed in February 2013.

The company added that employees who failed to return to work will undergo disciplinary procedures at the Labour court, which could result in dismissals.

Zondereinde Mine currently employs 6,600 permanent employees and 2,100 contractors.

(READ MORE: S.Africa’s NUM says Northam Platinum strike to continue)