The hotly contested Lonmin merger may be at the crux of the impasse between mining company Sibanye-Stillwater and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), after a protracted strike at the company's gold operations. People close to the negotiations, who did not want to be named, said Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa wanted to ensure the merger did not take place so he could continue his cordial relationship with Lonmin CEO Ben Magara. Sources told Business Times Amcu had initially settled with Sibanye in the gold talks and was ready to sign when Mathunjwa scuppered that agreement. Sibanye's wage strike at its Kloof and Driefontein operations in Carletonville and Beatrix in the Free State began on November 21, the same day the miner announced that the Competition Tribunal had approved its acquisition of Lonmin. The strike has been underscored by violence - resulting in four deaths - and allegations of intimidation as it continues with no apparent end. At the heart ...

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