South African gold producers on Wednesday urged unions to narrow their demands after a third round of wage negotiations saw unions rejecting offers of annual wage increases of up to 6.5 percent for miners and up to 4.5 percent for skilled workers.

Four companies are negotiating – Sibanye-Stillwater, Harmony Gold, AngloGold Ashanti and a smaller producer, Village Main Reef- under the auspices of the Minerals Council South Africa industry group.

Although marginally above inflation for most workers, their offers fell well short of the hikes, some in excess of 30 percent, demanded by the four unions.

South Africa’s gold mines are the deepest in the world, reaching as far as 4 kms (2-1/2 miles) underground, and margins and grades have shrunk at such depths after over a century of mining.

 

 

 

 

-Reuters

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