- Situation calm at Zondereinde mine but tensions remain: CEO
- Two people killed amid clashes between unions since Sunday
Underground operations at Northam Platinum Ltd.’s Zondereinde mine in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province remained closed for a second day after two people were killed amid clashes between rival labor unions.
Talks between mine management, the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union that began late Monday will continue on Tuesday, Northam Chief Executive Officer Paul Dunne said in an interview with Johannesburg-based SAfm radio.
The situation “is calm but tensions do remain,” he said. “We have halted underground operations for the moment until we are sure that full calm returns. We have a very significant police presence on the mine.”
Violence began on Sunday when a member of the NUM’s branch committee was shot and killed in the town of Northam, Dunne said. A second person was stabbed to death on the way to work on Monday in clashes “between various groups of employees,” he said.
Zondereinde, the world’s deepest mine for the metal, produces about 1,000 ounces of platinum a day, according to Dunne.
As recently as four years ago, the NUM was South Africa’s largest union. Now it’s losing ground to the AMCU, which became the biggest representative of platinum workers following a violent five-month strike that crippled the operations of the world’s three largest producers in 2014.