JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Some South African gold miners have ended their strike and are heading back to work after just three days of industrial action in pursuit higher wages, a union and major gold producer both said on Friday.
"The strike is partially over," Lesiba Seshoka, a spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), told Power FM radio on Friday. He did not indicate how many workers had returned.
Separately, Sibanye Gold said workers at its Kloof mine near Johannesburg had ended a strike as of last night and that it hoped workers at its Beatrix mine in the Free State province would return today.
"With our Driefontein operation running smoothly throughout the strike, the return of workers to Kloof will bring our production up to about 80 percent," Sibanye spokesman James Wellsted said.
The National Union of Mineworkers launched the strike on Tuesday night over wages. A day later, two junior producers signed agreements for lower-than-expected wage hikes, bolstering confidence the strike could soon be over.
In addition to Sibanye, South Africa's other main gold producers - AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold - had also been impacted by the labour walkout.
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard and Sherilee Lakmidas; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Ed Cropley)