Africa's largest gold miner AngloGold Ashanti yesterday shut down its mining operations in South Africa after a strike that began last week at platinum producer Lonmin Plc spread to more mines.
Following a strike by 5,000 workers at its Kopanang mine from 20 September, the company has now shut down its South African operations as most of its 36,000 employees, including workers from its West Wits and Vaal River mines, have joined the strike.
South African gold production accounted for around 32 per cent of AngloGold's worldwide production during the first half of the year.
''Workers at AngloGold Ashanti's South African operations have embarked on an unprotected strike, preventing the commencement of the night shift on September 25. Workers at the West Wits and balance of the Vaal River Regions' operations joined those at Kopanang, who embarked on an unprotected work stoppage on September 20,'' Johannesburg, South Africa-based AngloGold said in a statement.
''This interruption to normal mining and processing operations comes amid unprocedural disruptions elsewhere in South Africa's gold and platinum mining sectors,'' it added.
Last month, miners at Lonmin first embarked on a strike demanding a hike in wages. Although the six-week strike at Lonmin resulted in 6 deaths, the strike was defused after the company agreed to raise wages by between 11 per cent and 22 per cent.