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A striking display from workers in iron-ore sector

A series of wildcat miners' strikes in South Africa spread to the iron-ore sector yesterday and hit another gold firm in an escalation of the labour unrest that is testing President Jacob Zuma's leadership.

The industrial action at Kumba Iron Ore, a unit of global miner Anglo American, further dented investor confidence as it showed the protests had moved beyond platinum and gold mines. Workers at the Kusasalethu gold mine near Johannesburg, operated by South Africa's third-largest bullion producer, Harmony Gold, also downed tools.

After seven weeks of labour unrest, as many as 75,000 miners, or 15 per cent of the mining-sector workforce, are out on strike.