DiamondCorp’s development at its Lace Diamond Mine in South Africa suffers delays as its mineworkers and members of AMCU began striking on 23 October 2014.
The strike action followed management’s decision to not employ two full-time salaried shop stewards.
“Management is disappointed that AMCU leaders have decided to encourage AMCU members at Lace into industrial action which in the end provides no financial benefits to the mine workforce but is instead self-serving only to the union leadership,” commented DiamondCorp CEO Paul Loudon.
“Management’s position is clear: a mine development project of less than 260 workers does not require and cannot afford two full-time shop stewards. We feel sorry for the hardship this action will cause for the Lace workers involved and their families,” said Loudon.
During the three months ended 30 September 2014, the Lace mine commenced implementation of a revised underground development schedule and budget.
The aim is to bring forward the ramp up of commercial production from underground kimberlite mining by six months into H1 2015.
The first week of the strike has highlighted certain workplace inefficiencies which will be investigated and addressed when the striking workers return, said Aquarius.
Year-to-date productivity on development tunnelling prior to the strike action was 1.57 tonnes per person per shift with three crews.
Productivity since the strike commenced is 2.87 tonnes per person per shift with one crew, an improvement of 87% per person.
It is estimated that for every two weeks the strike continues, it will add approximately one week to the mine development timetable, said the company.
Installation of the underground conveyor belt is unaffected by the strike action and is scheduled to be commissioned in H1 2015.
The Lace Diamond Mine is DiamondCorp’s primary asset in South Africa – located some 200 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, near the town of Kroonstad in Free State Province.
Development tunnelling in the upper K4 mining block and processing of kimberlite will continue with non-AMCU members until such time as the strike ends.