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Jul 20, 2014

South Africa union war follows old pattern on new turf

MARULA PLATINUM MINE South Africa (Reuters) – When a wildcat strike hit Impala Platinum’s Marula mine in South Africa’s Limpopo province this month, union leaders there had no idea it was coming.

“We were taken by surprise. We came to work that morning and everyone was outside saying they were not going to work,” said Solomon Digoro, deputy chairman of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Marula, 280 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of Johannesburg.

Jul 7, 2014

S. Africa’s Implats says Marula mine strike to end, tensions high

JOHANNESBURG, July 7 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Impala
Platinum said on Monday wildcat strikers at its Marula
mine had indicated they would return to work on Tuesday and
press their demands through “formal channels”.

But tensions remain high and the National Union of
Mineworkers (NUM), the dominant union at Marula, said its
leaders there had been given 48 hours to vacate their offices by
a “workers’ committee” and faced death threats if they did not.

Jul 4, 2014

GM suspends South Africa production as striking union rejects offer

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – U.S. auto giant GM said on Friday it had suspended production at its main South African assembly plant in the southeastern city of Port Elizabeth because a strike by the country’s biggest union had hit components suppliers.

The engineering and metal workers’ strike shows no signs of abating after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) rejected an increased employers’ wage offer late on Thursday, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) said.

Jun 27, 2014

Interview – Vedanta stands by struggling Zambian copper mine

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc remains committed to its underperforming Zambian copper unit, despite disputes with the government over lay-offs and a looming audit of its books, the company’s chief executive said on Friday.

Vedanta bought a controlling stake in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) a decade ago, but the business, intended to be part of the company’s push beyond India, has repeatedly disappointed.

Jun 27, 2014

Vedanta stands by struggling Zambian copper mine

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc remains committed to its underperforming Zambian copper unit, despite disputes with the government over lay-offs and a looming audit of its books, the company’s chief executive said on Friday.

Vedanta bought a controlling stake in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) a decade ago, but the business, intended to be part of the company’s push beyond India, has repeatedly disappointed.

Jun 27, 2014

The Swiss commodities connection in African poverty

JOHANNESBURG, June 27 (Reuters) – Are mispricing and the
opacity of commodities trading in Switzerland contributing to
Africa’s underdevelopment?

The world’s poorest continent remains heavily dependent on
natural resources and so is extremely vulnerable to
manipulations in the price of the commodities it extracts and
exports, with very real consequences for its economies.

Jun 25, 2014

South Africa miners return to work after longest platinum strike

MARIKANA South Africa (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of South African platinum miners returned to work on Wednesday after wage deals ended the longest and most damaging strike in the country’s history.

The five-month strike hit 40 percent of global production of the precious metal and has cost companies Lonmin LMI.J, Anglo American Platinum (AMSJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) a combined 24 billion rand ($2.25 billion) in lost revenue.

Jun 24, 2014

After record strike, life returns to South African platinum town

MARIKANA, South Africa, June 24 (Reuters) – An armoured
vehicle carrying banknotes for an ATM machine rolled down
Marikana’s dusty main street on Tuesday, a rare sight for locals
in the gritty South African mining town starved of cash during a
five-month platinum strike that has just ended.

“I haven’t seen a cash vehicle coming out this way in a long
time,” said Mohamed Moosa, who runs a general store in Marikana,
a town 120 km (70 miles) northwest of Johannesburg that has been
at the centre of the longest strike in South African history.

May 29, 2014

Book Talk: Is humanity behind biggest extinction event since dinosaurs?

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Around 65 million years ago, a massive asteroid or “bolide” smashed into the Yucatan Peninsula off the coast of southeastern Mexico, sending up a cloud of searing vapor and debris.

This effectively killed off the dinosaurs. Some were instantly vaporized, others vanished as vast dust clouds blocked out the sunlight for years.

May 29, 2014

Mining retains iron grip on South African economy

NYANDENI, South Africa May 29 (Reuters) – Mining accounts
for a fraction of South Africa’s gross domestic product but
still hits well above its weight and is pushing the continent’s
most advanced economy towards recession.

South Africa’s economy shrank 0.6 percent in the first
quarter of this year, data showed this week, the first quarterly
contraction since a recession in 2009 as mining output plummeted
amid a protracted strike in the platinum sector.

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
      Joined Reuters:
      1995
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