Sibanye Gold says 303 illegal miners who have come to the surface have been arrested at its strike-shut Cooke operations near Johannesburg as the company tries to stamp out illicit mining at its operations. Sibanye has in recent weeks charged 58 of its employees with collusion and assisting hundreds of people illegally mining gold from four Cooke shafts close to Randfontein. The Cooke shafts, which are not a core operation for Sibanye, are the worst affected by illegal mining within the group — the country’s largest producer of domestic gold. The operations were idled by a wildcat strike that started last Tuesday and were losing production of 15kg of gold a day, equivalent to R7.8m a day.

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