Village Main Drops Most in 2 Weeks on Strike: Johannesburg Mover

Village Main Reef Ltd. (VIL) fell the most in more than two weeks after the South African gold company said it shut production at a mine because of a strike.

The stock dropped as much as 4.4 percent, the most on closing basis since June 24, to 0.43 rand and traded 2.2 percent down at 0.44 rand by 12:51 p.m. in Johannesburg.

About 134 workers started an underground protest at the Consolidated Murchison gold and antimony mine in Limpopo province on July 9, the South African Police Service said in a statement on its website. A further 200 employees who are members of the National Union of Mineworkers refused to go underground yesterday and staged a protest outside the mine, police said.

“The workers are saying that they be paid for their employee ownership program,” Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the NUM, said in a phone interview. Only some have received payment, he said.

Gold operators in South Africa, the world’s sixth-biggest producer of the metal, and unions yesterday started wage talks in which some labor organizations tabled the largest pay demands yet weeks after the precious metal’s steepest quarterly price slump on record. Negotiations are taking place through the Chamber of Mines, with Village among companies that are participating in the centralized talks.

Management will continue to talk with the employees and the union to resolve the strike, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement.

Village’s market value is 458 million rand ($46 million).

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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