Mining Strikes Proliferate around the World
Mining strikes are proliferating around the world, hitting global mining companies as well as regional ones.
Some of the job actions, which stretch from Peru to Africa to Indonesia, have remained peaceful, while other have not. Some have even entailed fatalities.
Demands range from higher wages to greater safety precautions to more managerial control over how the mines are run.
Here is a sample of current and recent mining strikes.
1. Grasberg Mine - This is the largest gold mine in the world and the third largest copper mine in the world. Owned by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., it is located in the province of Papua in Indonesia and has about 8,000 workers.
Miners went on strike Sept. 15 in a pay dispute. Authorities report that this week three people have been killed by gunmen near the remote mine. On Oct. 10 two miners were killed in a clash between police and striking miners. Many more have been injured.
2. Cerro Verde Mine - This is the third largest copper mine in Peru. The facility, which supplies two percent of the world's copper, also produces molybdenum, is located in the south of Peru. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold holds a majority stake in the project.
Miners went on strike at the end of September, and are receiving public support from the nation's newly elected leftist president, Ollanta Humala. The mine normally employs about 2,000 people.
3. Yanacocha Mine - This is one of Latin America's largest gold mines. Last year it produced 1.5 million ounces of gold, or about 1.6 percent of the world's supply. Newmont Mining Corp. holds a controlling interest in the mine, located in northern Peru. On Monday, Newmont halted work after protesters blocked an access road and torched eight pieces of earth-moving equipment.
4. Chambishi Mine - This is a huge copper mine owned by China's NFCA Mining, a unit of China Nonferrous Metals Corp. On Thursday the Chinese company fired at least 1,000 miners for participating in a strike.
5. Crocodile River Mine - This South African facility is owned by Canada-based Eastern Platinum Ltd., which said this week production this year fell on a year-over-year basis by 29 percent to 26,995 ounces.
6. Bafokeng Rasimone Mine - Miners have been striking for nearly a week and platinum production has already started slowing, said owner Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd.
7. Everest Mine - This facility is owned by Aquarius Platinum Ltd., which just reached an interim settlement with the union representing its miners. Though brief, the strike was effective enough to halt production.
8. A group of mines, employing about 5,000 workers, in South Africa that is owned and operated by Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata Plc. Tensions with the miners, who went on strike Sunday, are escalating. On Thursday Xstrata withdrew an offer of share ownership after union leaders dismissed the proposal as a mere token.