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Mining industry accused of blackmail

Jun 26 2012 15:31 Sapa

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Johannesburg - The closure of Aquarius Platinum's Everest mine in Mpumalanga was a bid to blackmail the ANC on the eve of its policy conference, the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said on Tuesday.

"The Num perceives all these panic buttons pressed by the industry as nothing else but an attempt to blackmail the ruling party," Num spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said in a statement.

"The Num advises the ANC, the state and the alliance partners to reject the blackmail and move forward in getting sustainable solutions."

The union claimed the mining industry was using blackmail to maintain the current tax, beneficiation, and industry structure.

"They do not want any transformation in the mining sector. They want it to remain as it is."

Operations at the Everest mine near Lydenburg were suspended on Thursday because of low commodity prices and labour issues, the company said in a statement.

It said the "ramp-up" at Everest had been hampered by poor ground conditions and ongoing disruptive industrial relations.

"These issues, coupled with the present low PGM (platinum group metals) price environment, have rendered the mine uneconomic(al)."

The mine was closed on Thursday.

aquarius platinum  |  num  |  anc
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