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Strike shuts down Canada-owned gold mine in Suriname

Published by MAC on 2011-08-08
Source: AFP, Reuters (2011-08-03)

Union ends two-day strike at Canadian owned gold mine

AFP

3 August 2011

PARAMARIBO — A two-day strike that shut down the Rosebel Gold Mine which is majority owned by Canada's IAMGOLD ended early Wednesday, union leader Freddy Brug said.

Talking to local radio, Brug denied the strike was against the company moves to impose a new 16-hour shift once during the two-week schedule.

"The strike started because the employees found it incorrect that their union board and I as leader were not able to meet with them for talks," he said.

The issue of the 16-hour shift did not lead to the strike, "because this has not been implemented."

Brug emphasized the union will not accept the new work schedule which would be 13 days of 12-hour shifts and one day of 16 hours, instead of the existing 14-day schedule with 12 working hours a day.

The strike by the union representing 1,100 miners began Monday and the union was called for talks at the presidential palace on Tuesday. It reached an agreement with Rosebel management on payment for the two-day strike and on resuming the gold production.

Rosebel is 95 percent owned by Canada's IAMGOLD with five percent held by the government of Suriname. It produced 395,000 ounces in 2010 at cash cost of $484 per ounce with the mine's life estimated to last until 2022.

Rosebel is located some 118 kilometers (75 miles) south of the capital Paramaribo.

The strike comes with world gold prices hovering near record levels above $1,600 per ounce.


Strike shuts down Canada-owned gold mine in Suriname

By Frik Els

AFP

2 August 2011

Suriname's only commercial gold mine, the Rosebel Gold Mine which is majority owned by Canada's Iamgold, has been shut down by a strike by 1,100 workers protesting new longer shift hours.

Rosebel is located some 118 kilometers south of Paramaribo, the capital of the South American nation. The mine produced 395,000 ounces in 2010 at cash cost of $484 per ounce.

While Rosebel is the country's only commercially operated mine, there are believed to be thousands of small scale miners operating in the tiny, impoverished country.

AFP reports the miners had worked a 14-day schedule with 12 working hours a day. The new schedule is 13 days of 12-hour shifts and one day of 16 hours.

Rosebel in which the government owns 5% and Iamgold the rest, is expected to produce gold until 2022.

According to anthropologist Marieke Heemskerk currently studying small-scale gold mining in Suriname, the practice is of crucial importance to the livelihoods of jungle-dwelling families in the interior with survey data from 2002 suggesting that in some villages, 70% to 80% of households obtain regular income from mining members of the household or the extended family. Small-scale mining in the country is estimated to total 20,000 kg of gold extracted by 10,000 to 20,000 miners a year.


Workers stage strike at Iamgold mine in Suriname

Reuters

2 August 2011

PARAMARIBO - Workers at Iamgold Corp's (IMG.TO:Quote) gold mine in Suriname, one of the Canadian company's largest, have begun a strike to protest work schedules, a union leader said on Tuesday.

Workers at the Rosebel mine, which last year produced 395,000 ounces of gold, walked off the job at midnight on Monday, union activist Freddy Brug told Reuters.

Company officials were not immediately available to comment on whether operations have been affected.

Brug said miners were opposed to management's efforts to introduce a 16-hour shift. He did not say what proportion of the workers were on strike.

Iamgold, a mid-tier mining company, plans to produce roughly 1 million ounces of gold this year and 1.8 million ounces annually within five years.

(Reporting by Ank Kuipers; Writing by Louise Egan; Editing by Alden Bentley)

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