Johannesburg - Shares of South African gold producers fall sharply, with the index of gold mining companies shedding more than 5 percent, as the main mine union in Africa's biggest economy asks members to vote on a strike after wage talks in the gold sector stall.
Bullion producers have also been hit by the gold price, which is down for a second straight session after minutes from a Federal Reserve policy meeting fail to ease fears the US central bank would begin tapering its economic stimulus from next month.
Gold Fields, South Africa's second-biggest bullion producer, is down 7.89 percent at 60.71 rand, the biggest decliner on both the on the blue-chip Top-40 index and the broader All-Share Index.
Gold Fields says it posted a second quarter loss, hit by impairments in Ghana and lower prices.
Bigger rival AngloGold Ashanti, the world's third-biggest bullion producer, drops 4.60 percent to 142.21 rand, while Harmony Gold is down 4.4 percent at 39.28 rand.
Spot gold was down 0.2 percent to $1,363.00 an ounce at 08:33 SA time, after falling 0.3 percent the day before. - Reuters