South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said no progress was made in talks on Monday to end a strike against the country's main gold producers that is costing them up to $25 million a day in lost output.
The talks were set to resume on Tuesday. The strike of some 100,000 workers in the world's fourth largest gold producer is taking place while bullion's price is trading near record highs.
"The gold talks have ended, there was no progress. We will continue tomorrow," said NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka. A spokesman for the chamber of mines confirmed this was the case.
The chamber is negotiating on behalf of South Africa's top three gold producers, AngloGold Ashanti , Gold Fields and Harmony , plus a junior gold miner. The workers at those mines downed tools on Thursday.
A week-long coal mine strike ended earlier on Monday when a wage deal was clinched.
The mounting impact of South Africa's annual strike "season", which has also hit the fuel, diamond and steel industries, is seen crimping growth and possibly pushing an already stagnant economy into contraction.
The series of strikes highlight the difficult position of the ruling African National Congress, which is keen to attract foreign investment, but is in a governing alliance with unions.
Coal firms that were affected included Anglo Thermal Coal SA , Exxaro , Optimum Coal and Xstrata Coal . If it had persisted it could have menaced exports and supplies to the country's power utility Eskom .
The chamber of mines said most of the coal companies had agreed to increases of 8 to 10.5 percent in the first year and 7.5 to 10 percent in the second year.
Unions have been seeking raises of 10 to 15 percent, far above the inflation rate of five percent, and settlements are typically high -- a scenario economists say cannot be sustained.
In the gold talks, the NUM has been seeking a 14 percent pay rise while the gold mine companies have publicly offered rises of 7-9 percent. The two sides had both signalled the gap between their positions had narrowed on Friday.
Gold's run has been driven by its safe-haven status in the debt crises in Europe and America and analysts have said a prolonged strike would help push bullion prices higher.
Spot gold was $1,621.42 an ounce by 1845 GMT on Monday, compared with a record high of $1,632.30 on Friday.
Markets were also watching wage talks between unions and managers at Impala Platinum , the world's No. 2 producer of the precious metal, and union sources said they had not yet ended late on Monday.
Impala and its larger rival, Anglo American Platinum , which is also engaged in negotiations, together account for around two-thirds of global platinum output, so if strikes started there platinum prices are likely to rise.