Labour unrest rocks Dalny Mine

HARARE - Toronto Stock Exchange-listed junior gold miner New Dawn Mining Corporation (New Dawn)’s Kadoma-based Dalny Mine (Dalny) has halted operations due to a workers’ strike over salaries.

Sources close to the development told businessdaily that workers downed tools early this week, demanding a salary hike.

Dalny is one of Zimbabwe’s largest gold producer.

While the labour unrest was still on as of yesterday, New Dawn management said they were working to resolve “the illegal strike in an orderly and efficient manner”.

“The company is currently dealing with this work stoppage in accordance with Zimbabwe’s labour legislation, as well as its own internal policies,” said New Dawn.

The Zimbabwe-focused New Dawn currently has five operational gold mines in the country.

The strike did not affect operations at the other four mines.

“…the impact of the power issues at Dalny Mine has now been compounded by the effects of this work stoppage,” New Dawn said, adding that the strike exacerbated issues with respect to the company’s working capital and operations.

“As the situation clarifies, the company intends to adjust its business strategies, as appropriate, to recognise the changing operating and financial parameters,” said the group.

New Dawn recorded a $61,9 million revenue in the year to September 30, 2012 up from $38,3 million in previous comparable period.

Gold production went up 41 percent to 37,623 ounces during the period under review.

Quarterly production increased to 10,256 ounces in the quarter ended September 30, 2012, as compared to 9,536 ounces for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, and 8,814 ounces in previous comparable period.

The industrial action at Dalny follows a similar strike at Masvingo-based gold mine Renco early this week.

The Rio Zim-owned Renco workers’ wives went on strike demanding salary increments and annual bonuses for their husbands, with villagers joining in solidarity.

The wives, over 800, staged a strike this Monday, barring their husbands from reporting for duty and blocking off the main entrance to the gold mine.

The villagers accuse Rio Zim of failing to honour its social responsibility pledge to develop their community.

Doreen Madzora, Renco Mine workers’ wives association leader, has said the strike — which entered its third day yesterday — will continue until their demands are met.

 “We are still camped at the gate and the strike continues, we won’t let the mine operate until our husbands get their bonuses and increments,” Madzora said.

According to reports, Renco’s least paid worker takes home approximately $100 and the wives are demanding a minimum $500, in line with the Poverty Datum Line estimated around that figure. - John Kachembere

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