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Mining News South Africa

66 miners still underground as Kroondal strike enters third day

Sibanye-Stillwater is facing a third day of a strike that began when morning shift employees at its Kwezi shaft initiated a sit-in on 3 June, with 211 employees underground. The K6 shaft also experienced disruptions, with approximately 250 people gathering in a central waiting place on the surface. There are still 66 workers underground.
As of December 2023, Kroondal had 4E PGM mineral reserves of 0.7Moz and mineral resources of 4.4Moz
As of December 2023, Kroondal had 4E PGM mineral reserves of 0.7Moz and mineral resources of 4.4Moz

The strike follows recent annual payments to beneficiaries of the Rustenburg and Marikana employee share option schemes (ESOPs) on Friday, 1 June 2024.

Kroondal employees, who are not yet eligible for ESOP payments, are reportedly aggrieved at not receiving these payouts.

A 2023 wage agreement signed between the Sibanye and union representatives from NUM and AMCU stipulated that management, and unions would discuss the feasibility of extending the Rustenburg ESOP to Kroondal employees once the Kroondal Pool and Share Agreement (PSA) acquisition by Sibanye Rustenburg Platinum Mines (SRPM) is finalised.

While parties agreed to include Kroondal employees in the ESOP post-transaction, expected before year-end, Sibanye claims that striking employees seem to have misunderstood the timeline.

Sibanye responds

The platinum mining giant said in a media statement that standard grievance protocols were not followed and that the unprotected (illegal) strike jeopardises operations and employee safety.

“We fully respect employees’ rights to raise their grievances as set out in agreed policies and procedures,” said Sibanye chief regional officer Richard Stewart.

“The current illegal and unprotected strike however is disappointing and we appeal to all stakeholders, including employees, to follow the established grievance procedures and to refrain from illegal acts.”

He reaffirmed the company's commitment to employee safety and thanked Kroondal employees who continue to contribute to safe production.

About Lindsey Schutters

Lindsey is the editor for ICT, Construction&Engineering and Energy&Mining at Bizcommunity
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