JOHANNESBURG, June 19 Sibanye Gold's
Cooke mine in South Africa will remain shut until at least
Thursday as the company goes through an appeals process for
workers fired for taking part in a wildcat strike, it said on
Sibanye is losing 15 kg of gold production there per day,
highlighting the social risks of mining in South Africa.
Spokesman James Wellsted said the company was concerned
about the safety of its employees after receiving reports of
threats of violence against miners not supporting the strike.
"We want to make sure the environment is safe for our
employees," he said. Sibanye said last week it had fired 1,500
workers at the mine, which employs almost 4,000 underground
miners, but they could appeal their sacking.
Workers at the mine downed tools almost two weeks ago,
angered by a company drive to root out illegal miners which has
included the arrest of employees for collusion.
Illegal gold mining has plagued South Africa for decades,
with bullion pilfered from both disused and operating mines, and
Sibanye has vowed it will clear all illegal miners from its
shafts by January 2018.
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by David Clarke)