More strikes in mining sector possible

National Union of Mineworkers says more strikes are possible for 2013.

Harmony Gold Mine remains closed due to financial and security risks. Picture: Sapa

JOHANNESBURG - Harmony Gold Mine on Monday said it was trying to restore calm at its Kusasalethu operation in Carletonville to avoid possible retrenchments.

There were several wildcat strikes and underground protests late last year, and the mine remained closed due to security and financial risks.

The mine said it was weighing is operational and financial position and the future viability of Kusasalethu.

The violence reportedly pulled production down to an estimated 22 percent of the volume planned for the period from 26 October to December last year.

The National Union of Mineworkers' spokesperson, Frans Baleni, said more strikes in the mining sector are possible this year.

He said there were rumours that workers had been promised benefits they did not receive and that others were demanding higher salaries.

Harmony Gold's spokesperson, Marian van der Walt, said they would weigh up their options before retrenching or reopening their mine.

"For the next 60 calendar days, we will be engaging with the unions and if we do not come to any sort of conclusions, retrenchments will be inevitable."