'Mining industry in difficult position'

Chamber of Mines says the mining industry is caught between a rock and a hard place.

A mine shaft. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Chamber of Mines CEO Bheki Sibiya on Friday said the industry is caught between a rock and a hard place in trying to balance employee demands and shareholder expectations.

The country's mines have been recently hit by lengthy, sometimes violent and deadly wage strikes.

Speaking at the Cape Town Press Club, Sibiya warned that mine workers' demands for higher wages will lead to thousands of job losses come early next year.

"Unfortunately, the job losses will happen and the reason is that settlements which were made are not matched with comprable productivity improvements."

Sibiya also said that the Chamber of Mines will be looking closely at resolutions to be made at theANC's Mangaung conference next month with regard to a decision on nationalisation.