* Says illegal strike at east section of KDC mine
* Two day, night shifts lost so far
* AMCU says not involved in strike
* Shares down 4 pct
By David Dolan and Ed Stoddard
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 31 South African bullion miner
Gold Fields said about a quarter of its 46,000 workers
had been on a wildcat strike since Wednesday evening in the
latest labour unrest to hit the mining industry of Africa's top
The strike at the world's No.4 gold producer follows a
deadly stand-off at platinum miner Lonmin Plc which is
still not resolved after three weeks.
Gold Fields said in a statement on Friday that about 12,000
workers had been on an "unlawful and unprotected" strike at the
east section of its KDC mine in South Africa.
"Based on informal feedback from employees, the strike
appears to be related mainly to disagreements within organised
labour and related structures on the mine, although we cannot
confirm this," it said.
Gold Fields and South Africa's other big gold miners signed
2-year wage agreements last year which expire in mid-2013.
Frans Baleni, general secretary of the National Union of
Mineworkers, told Reuters the strike was started by a
disagreement over insurance benefits.
Gold Fields said it has so far lost two night and day
shifts. Just west of Johannesburg, KDC is Gold Fields' largest
operation in South Africa and produced 279,600 ounces in the
"I think there is a good prospect for contagion," said Gary
van Staden, a Johannesburg-based political scientist at NKC
"There is a very good chance that we will see a spreading of
wildcat action on the mines."
Gold Fields shares were down 4.0 percent at 99.80 rand as of
Clashes between police and workers this month left 44
people, mostly miners, dead and has brought production at Lonmin
to a standstill.
South African prosecutors on Thursday charged 270 striking
miners with murder of 34 co-workers seen being shot dead in a
hail of police bullets captured in videos broadcast around the
Prosecution have filed papers invoking a measure called
"common purpose" seldom used since the dying days of apartheid,
arguing the miners were complicit in the killings since they
were arrested at the scene with weapons.
South Africa's justice minister on Friday rebuked
prosecutors for the move, saying the decision had caused "shock,
panic and confusion" among the general public.
Mines minister Susan Shabangu acknowledged this week that
the recent labour violence would impact potential investment
into South Africa.
The Lonmin stand-off was sparked by a turf war between the
established National Union of Mineworkers and a militant
newcomer, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union
AMCU's president told a separate news conference on Friday
that it had no members at Gold Fields and was not involved in
($1 = 8.4836 South African rand)
(Editing by Jason Neely)