Strike at De Beers' South African diamond mine ends as workers accept deal

South African diamond miners returned to work on Friday following a two-week strike after the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) reached agreement with De Beers on a two-year wage deal.

The mining firm said higher skilled workers would receive an 8-percent rise in wages, while the salaries of lower-level employees would be increased by 10 percent.

The agreement will be backdated to May, while in May 2012, raises would be at a level determined by inflation plus 2 percent.

De Beers' head of industrial relations Wayne Smerdon said the deal would raise workers' minimum wages to around $870 a month.

The strike, involving more than 1,300 NUM members, did not stop De Beers from meeting its supply targets, as it had been operating from stockpiles during the strike, he added.

South Africa has been hit by a wave of strikes that have hit the fuel, gold and coal sectors, as well as diamonds.

Talks between the two other unions and Eskom, the national electricity company, collapsed on Thursday after the firm refused to raise its 7-percent wage rise offer.

The NUM is South Africa's most powerful union with more than 250,000 members.

Talks are continuing between NUM and South Africa's top two platinum miners, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum, which combined account for around 65 percent of global platinum production.