* Gold Fields says workers did not return to KDC West
* Strike spreads to Beatrix mine
* Close to 24,000 Gold Fields workers now on strike
By Agnieszka Flak
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 25 World No. 4 bullion
producer Gold Fields said workers reneged on a deal to
end a two-week strike at its KDC West operation in South Africa
and miners at its Beatrix mine had also downed tools.
A wave of wildcat action is roiling South Africa's mines,
including a six-week stoppage at platinum producer Lonmin
last month in which 45 people were killed.
"The strike is still on, they ignored the agreement reached
Friday night. And the strike has now spread to Beatrix," Gold
Fields spokesman Willie Jacobsz told Reuters.
Gold Fields said on Friday the National Union of Mineworkers
(NUM) agreed that some 15,000 workers at KDC West would return
to work Monday night.
The strikers' demands included the resignation of local NUM
leaders, a reflection of discontent among miners who regard the
union as being out of touch and too closely aligned to the ANC
government and company managers.
Gold Fields said almost 9,000 workers from its Beatrix mine
had gone on strike.
Between the two mines Gold Fields is losing about 2,300
ounces of production per day, over 20 percent of the company's
Fuelled in part by glaring income disparities, illegal
strikes erupted in the platinum sector in the form of a bloody
turf war between the NUM and the more militant Association of
Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).
The strikes have now spread to the gold sector but there is
no evidence yet of AMCU involvement in the unrest.
World No. 1 platinum producer Anglo American Platinum
was silent on Tuesday about an illegal strike at four
of its South African operations after it threatened to take
unspecified legal action against employees who did not return by
the late shift on Monday night.
The mines account for about 25 percent of Amplats' output of
close to 2.4 million ounces a year, according to Reuters'
Workers are also on an illegal strike at a South African
mine run by AngloGold Ashanti, the world's third
largest bullion producer.
South Africa is home to around 80 percent of known global
platinum reserves and is a major producer of gold and coal.
Employees at Coal of Africa's (CoAL)
Mooiplaats colliery in South Africa downed tools on Tuesday in a
legal strike over wages.
CoAL's shares fell almost 18 percent at one point after it
said employees who are members of NUM had rejected the company's
offer to raise pay by 22 percent.