Paladin says Malawi mine at full output

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Paladin Energy’s Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi is back at full production today after striking workers returned to the site.

Registering high production output

The Perth-based company’s share price sank as low as 7.5 per cent in morning trading, before paring the day’s losses. The stock was recently changing hands at $1.22, still 5.5 cents or 4.3 cent lower for the day.

About 1000 local workers, led by what the company dubbed a “militant core”, walked off the job a week ago, bringing production at the mine to a standstill.

The strike was prompted by Paladin’s refusal to meet requests for an immediate 66 per cent pay increase triggered by a 50 per cent devaluation of the country’s currency – the Malawi Kwacha – and the setting of local salaries pegged to the US dollar.

It is understood the mine continued to operate at about 60 per cent capacity since the stop work. Paladin said workers had agreed to a dispute resolution pact and returned to work last night.

The workers have agreed to drop their demands as long as Paladin reviews the local salaries within six months in light of the consumer price inflation of the day and the fluctuations of the Kwacha.

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