Archive for January 27th, 2008

source: News24
26/01/2008 20:25 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Diamond, gold and platinum mines were shut for the weekend owing to an electricity shortage that has crippled the sector and left thousands of miners without work, officials said.

The country’s major mining companies, such as the world’s biggest diamond producer De Beers, were in a crisis meeting on Saturday with public electricity company Eskom. The electrical provider had obliged the mines to suspend their operations the night before as it could not guarantee a steady supply.

“At the moment, things are as there were yesterday,” De Beers spokesperson Tom Tweedy told AFP. “There is no production. Our six mines are closed.”

De Beers produces nearly 16 million carats per year and employs 5 100 workers in the country.

The situation is similar for gold mines in South Africa – which produces the most gold in the world.

“Our mines are still closed. We are in ongoing discussions with Eskom,” said Steve Lenahan, spokesperson for AngloGold Ashanti, which employs 35 000 people in seven mines.

Harmony Gold spokesperson Amelia Soares said “we are all in the same boat. All of our [continue reading]