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South Africa's gold miners join coal and diamond miners on strike

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Christopher Donville
Bloomberg News
via Bloomberg Business Week
Monday, July 25, 2011

More than 200,000 South African gold miners will join coal and diamond mine workers in a strike this week after failing to reach agreement with producers over pay, the country's National Union of Mineworkers said.

The gold miners are demanding pay increases of 14 percent, the union said today in a statement. Johannesburg-based AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. offered workers 8 percent to 9 percent, the union said. Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. and Rand Uranium Pty Ltd. offered 7 percent to 8.5 percent, it said.

"We are disappointed by the decision taken by the unions," Elize Strydom, who negotiated on behalf of the gold producers, said in an e-mailed statement from the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, which represents the industry. "The employers are, however, more than willing to continue to engage with the unions in an attempt to reach settlement."

... Dispatch continues below ...


Can the Fed Get the U.S. Economy Under Control Without a Return to Gold?

Lewis E. Lehrman, chairman of the Lehrman Institute, sponsor of The Gold Standard Now project, advises that reinstituting a classic gold standard would require the U.S. government to balance its budget and its current account.

In a telephone interview with the New York Times published July 23, Lehrman said, "The debts in the American banking system that were amassed simply would not have been feasible if you had direct convertibility of currency into gold."

Lehrman acknowledges that returning to a gold standard won't happen overnight. But, he says, it will happen "because the failure of all of the other approaches will become evident to the American people."

The Gold Standard Now adviser Jeffrey Bell, also interviewed by the Times, said, "The big question is whether the government and the Federal Reserve will be able to get the economy under control without a return to gold."

To read more and to sign up for The Gold Standard Now's free, noncommercial, weekly report, "Prosperity through Gold," please visit:

The gold miners will join 150,000 coal workers and 5,000 diamond workers in South Africa already on strike, the union said. Protests by South African petroleum, chemical, engineering, gold, and platinum workers have curbed output from factories and mines and interrupted fuel deliveries.

South African workers won average pay raises of 5.2 percentage points over the inflation rate last year and 3.2 percent in 2009, more than in Brazil, the United States, or any country in the European Union except for Bulgaria. The country's inflation rate is 5 percent.

South Africa was the world's fifth-largest gold producer in 2010, according to researcher GFMS Ltd. China was the biggest.

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Sona Drills 85.4g Gold/Ton Over 4 Metres at Elizabeth Gold Deposit,
Extending the Mineralization of the Southwest Vein on the Property

Company Press Release, October 27, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sona Resources Corp. reports on five drillling holes in the third round of assay results from the recently completed drill program at its 100 percent-owned Elizabeth Gold Deposit Property in the Lillooet Mining District of southern British Columbia. Highlights from the diamond drilling include:

-- Hole E10-66 intersected 17.4g gold/ton over 1.54 metres.

-- Hole E10-67 intersected 96.4g gold/ton over 2.5 metres, including one assay interval of 383g of gold/ton over 0.5 metres.

-- Hole E10-69 intersected 85.4g gold/ton over 4.03 metres, including one assay interval of 230g gold/ton over 1 metre.

Four drill holes, E10-66 to E10-69, targeted the southwestern end of the Southwest Vein, and three of the holes have expanded the mineralized zone in that direction. The Southwest Vein gold mineralization has now been intersected over a strike length of 325 metres, with the deepest hole drilled less than 200 metres from surface.

"The assay results from the Southwest Zone quartz vein continue to be extremely positive," says John P. Thompson, Sona's president and CEO. "We are expanding the Southwest Vein, and this high-grade gold mineralization remains wide open down dip and along strike to the southwest."

For the company's full press release, please visit: