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Dec 8, 2010
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Chinese bid for troubled SAfrica gold mines

By
Reuters
Published
Dec 8, 2010

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A state-owned Chinese mining firm is in talks to pay $100 million for control of an unlisted South African miner run by a nephew of President Jacob Zuma, the Business Day newspaper said on Wednesday.

Representatives from the Chinese firm, which was not named, will meet with the liquidators of Aurora Empowerment Systems to discuss taking a 65 percent stake in the company and operational control of its mines, the paper said, without saying where it got the information.

Aurora, whose management also includes a grandson of former President Nelson Mandela as a director, has been running the once-mighty Orkney and Grootvlei mines on Johannesburg's East Rand on behalf of liquidators since October 2009.

Production has been mothballed since March, leaving a skeleton "care and maintenance" staff of just a few hundred, unions say.

The unions and Aurora, a black affirmative-action firm with limited mining experience, have been at loggerheads over unpaid wages and pension claims.

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