Strike halts chrome production at DCM DECOmetal mine

Reuters reported that a strike at Albania’s largest chrome mine, which is owned by Austria’s DCM DECOmetal, has shut down all mining there for the past two weeks.

Representatives of the 700 miners at the Bulqiza mine have sought to raise the profile of the strike by protesting in front of government offices in Tirana since July 4th 2011.

Mr Astrit Sadiku told Reuters that “Since July 4th 2011, when we started the strike not a gram of mineral has been mined or been moved from the stock.”

The strike action is the first for DCM DECOmetal Gmbh, which took full control of the Bulqiza concession in 2007. It has grown into an integrated producer of ferrochrome, producing 3,000 tonnes a month.

Mine director Mr Medat Zogu said that DCM DECOmetal’s section of the Bulqiza chrome basin had reserves totaling open reserves of 400,000 tonnes and it mined 70,000 tonnes a year.

The company said that it would raise wages provided miners first halt their strike.

Mr George Bedineishvili DCM DECOmetal’s country manager said that “We are going to be generous about the compensation of workers but these strikes, threats and ultimatums have to stop.”

The Austrian firm agreed to a 10% raise last weekend, half of what miners are seeking.

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