Copper producer Palabora Mining Company (PMC) issued a statement saying that workers who staged an illegal underground sit-in on 13 March have extended the unprotected strike.According to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), production has been halted at PMC‘s operations as workers are demanding an additional danger pay for working underground. This action by the crews is a significant concern and is in contravention of their obligations to the mines policies and the provisions of the Mine Health and Safety Act, said the company.
PMC also pointed out that the extended underground sit-in could compromise the health of the workers involved in the strike, adding that the company is committed to the health and safety of the group.The company also notes that it has requested that the workers come up from underground so that discussions regarding concerns may begin; however, PMC said that the workers have not responded positively to that request. NUM has been fully involved since the beginning of the strike, and the Department of Mineral Resources inspectors visited the mine on two occasions to assist on matters of health and safety. The company says it is working closely with both parties to resolve the situation.