Workers strike at major Canadian owned Mauritanian gold mine

NOUAKCHOTT — Between 700 and 900 workers at Mauritania’s Taziast gold mine launched a general strike Thursday to demand salary increases and benefits, their union said.

“All the workers are on strike, the success of the movement is at nearly 100 percent,” said Mohamed Ould Abdellahi, secretary general of the General Confederation of Mauritanian Workers.

He said workers wanted an annual increase of 10 percent, full medical insurance and housing.

The gold mine, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of the capital Nouakchott, is wholly owned by Canadian firm Kinross, which recently announced a 1.5 billion euro (2.1 billion dollar) investment over the next three years to make the mine “the biggest in the world by 2013,” executive director Tye W. Burt said recently.

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