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Sibanye Gold to temporarily shut Cooke operation over safety concerns

The strike began after Sibanye announced that it would be implementing measures to combat illegal mining in its shafts.

FILE: Sibanye Gold's Cooke 1 shaft. Picture: sibanyegold.co.za.

JOHANNESBURG - Sibanye Gold's Cooke operation will remain shut until at least Thursday as the company goes through an appeals process for 1500 workers who were fired for taking part in a wildcat strike.

The company says that it is concerned about the safety of its employees after receiving reports of threats of violence against miners not supporting the strike.

Workers at the mine downed tools almost two weeks ago, angered by a company drive to root out illegal miners which has included the arrest of employees for collusion.

The mine's James Wellsted says the safety of workers comes first.

"We're trying to secure safety on the property and around our operations but in the surrounding communities it is quite difficult as we don't have any authority to go into those areas. We've jsut had various reports of potential violence."