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Glencore Xstrata chrome mines continue ‘minimal’ operations as strike persists

Keywords: Tags  Glencore Xstrata, chrome, Magareng, Helena, Thorncliffe, Amcu

JOHANNESBURG — Three Glencore Xstrata Plc chrome mines in South Africa are conducting "minimal" operations as a strike that is now in its third week continues to adversely affect output, a company spokesman said.

Smelter operations are not under threat, however, since company stockpiles remain sufficient, he said.

"I won’t divulge how many days’ worth of ore we have at the moment, but we have sufficient stockpiles," the spokesman told AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin. "Nothing has changed insofar as the strike continues to affect the three mines, with much the same amount of workers striking."

"The three mines are now operating at minimum scale," he added.

Glencore Xstrata dismissed 1,000 workers on June 2 for participating in an unauthorized strike at its Helena, Magareng and Thorncliffe chrome mines.

The strike started on May 28 when workers downed their tools after a member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union was allegedly assaulted by a shift supervisor at the Helena mine.

Union national treasurer Jimmy Gama previously said workers will not return until the supervisor is dismissed. Xstrata Glencore said the alleged assault is under investigation.

Thorncliffe produces between 100,000 and 110,000 tonnes per month of ore, while Helena produces 80,000 tonnes per month and is ramping up to 100,000 tonnes per month. 

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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