Shares in Wesizwe Platinum dived 11% yesterday, after it advised its shareholders that it was facing the second day of an illegal sit-in at its troubled Bakubung Platinum Mine in North West by its employees.
The shares in the JSE-listed firm slid to an low of 40 cents, having closed at 45c on Wednesday.
The sit-in commenced on Wednesday morning, December 6, 2023, when employees chose not to return to surface at the end of their shift, it said.
“Demands have been made by the participating employees. Management, together with local union representatives, are engaging with the purpose of returning all employees to surface,” it added.
Last month, Wesizwe, which is 45% controlled by China Africa Jinchuan, issued a section 189A at Bakubung Minerals, which could effect 571 employees out of 761, as it embarks on the possible restructuring of its operations amid a downturn in metal prices.
Wesizwe said the contemplated retrenchment consultation process had further been compounded by the downturn in the mining industry, as well as the two community strikes in the years 2022 and 2023 and the recent five-week unprotected strike in July, which affected the mine development progress adversely. The mine reopened on August 21 after the company and employees forged a deal to end the strike.
It said Bakubung had stopped overtime and weekend work, did not renew contracts of mining contract services and fixed-term contracts of non-critical staff and placed a moratorium on recruitment of non-core and critical staff, with the aim of reducing the bloated structure that caused inefficiencies.