A strike at Namibia’s biggest zinc mine spilled into its third day Monday with no end in sight to the pay dispute amid rising market concerns that lack of production could seriously dent output.
Management remained mum Monday on when the workers would return to work as the mine, which produces 150 000 tones of special high grade zinc remained shut.
An official at the mine confirmed the ‘strike is still ongoing’ adding that management and union officials are still locked in negotiations.
Calls to the general manager Gerald Boting were unanswered but a senior official at the mine confirmed the ‘strike is still ongoing’ adding that management and union officials are still locked in negotiations.
A market analyst at London Metals Exchange (LME) said zinc futures have witnessed an upward trend on supply concern after Skorpion Zinc workers went on strike.
By mid-day lead was trading at US$2.255 per tonne against US$2 195 per tonne at the close of business on Friday. Zinc was up at US$2.190 per tonne against US$2.155 per tonne on Friday.
Skorpion Zinc mine and refinery, one of Namibia’s largest and most profitable mine, produces about 12 500 tonnes of zinc per month.
The mine, owned by mining giant Anglo American produces special high grade zinc for Asian, European and North American markets. About 10 per cent of Skorpion Zinc production is exported to South Africa.
The strike started Friday mid-night with about 650 pemanent employees at the mine sealing off the plant, demanding a 15 per cent salary hike against management’ s 12 per cent. Panapress .