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VENTURES AFRICA – In an incident that could further worsen its strained relations with the union that is set to embark on a wage strike tomorrow, JSE-listed gold miner, Harmony, on Wednesday said a miner was fatally wounded in its Masimong Mine in Welkom, Free State province.
Harmony is facing a major wage strike after it was served with strike notice by the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) earlier this week.
Mining companies that have operations in South Africa are often accused of not trying hard enough to prevent deaths at their mines.
AMCU could use this fatality as a weapon to further attack Harmony, which is among the world’s top gold producers.
On Wednesday, Harmony said an intensive probe into the cause of the incident is on-going.
The worker was injured in a tramming incident and tramming operations at the mine have been halted.
Graham Briggs, the CEO at Harmony, and his management team, expressed their sincere condolences to the families and colleagues of the dead worker.
Earlier this week, the gold miner said it would resist the strike action, saying it will seek a court interdict to stop AMCU from embarking on the action on Thursday this week.
Harmony said on September 10 last year, a two-year salary increase contract was reached with other unions like NUM, UASA and Solidarity, which lead 72 percent of the workforce at Harmony.
The miner claimed that AMCU had taken part in those talks at the time. However, AMCU declined to agree to the new contract.