Rockwell Diamonds Inc. (RDI.TO) has decided to place its
operations at the Tirisano Mine on care and maintenance following
persistent industrial relations issues and ongoing losses incurred
by the mine. The term 'care and maintenance' is used when a mine
has stopped production and is temporarily closed for technical,
environmental, financial or labour relations reasons (Minerals Act,
The Tirisano Mine, last week, was impacted by a second
unprotected (illegal) strike within a period of four months. It has
also been subjected to persistent industrial relations issues
relating to pay increases despite the fact that the mine has
continued to operate at a loss and these issues being dealt with in
full compliance to the Labour Relations Act of South Africa.
The mine's challenges have been exacerbated by operational
complexities as well as a slower than anticipated recovery in the
price of smaller diamonds that make up much of Tirisano's
production profile, that led to the persistent poor financial
performance. The burden of these losses has been carried entirely
by Rockwell whose black economic empowerment (
) partner at the mine, Mogopa Minerals, has been unable to
contribute any funding since the mine's inception.
Rockwell is trading near a yr low.
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