DRDGold SA lost a day's production of 15kg gold at its major Blyvooruitzicht mine today as 3,300 workers went on an illegal strike over the police arrest of two workers.
Chief executive officer Niel Pretorius said this afternoon the company had gained a court interdict instructing workers to halt the illegal strike and return to work and it hoped that the now healthy Blyvoor mine would start production again tonight.
Pretorius said the workers went on strike from work as they suspected the company was involved with the police arrest of the two employees who were arrested in connection with the murder and assault of two men in a field near Blyvoor mine in December last year.
However, the company and police explained to workers this afternoon that the arrest was a police action only and DRDGold handed over an ultimatum for workers to return to work tonight.
They were holding a mass meeting with the South African Mine Workers Union this afternoon to discuss the ultimatum to end the strike.
Pretorius said Blyvoor had been transformed into a healthy mine at current gold prices with both its surface and underground operations performing well in the first quarter of the year.
This was in contrast with its past performance that saw the mine paying for costs from surface operations.
Blyvoor battled until the end of last year, but it's a healthy mine now. For this reason, we hope that workers will return to work tonight.
Pretorius said Blyvoor mine produced about 400kg of gold per month of the company's total production in South Africa of 830kg per month.