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
"The Num advises the ANC, the state and the alliance
partners to reject the blackmail and move forward in getting sustainable
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
The mine was closed on Thursday.