The company said that it will apply the ‘no work, no pay’ rule for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)-led protest.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration has approved the strike action.

DiamondCorp CEO Paul Loudon said: "Management is disappointed that AMCU leaders have decided to encourage AMCU members at Lace into industrial action which in the end provides no financial benefits to the mine workforce but is instead self-serving only to the union leadership.

"Management’s position is clear: a mine development project of less than 260 workers does not require and cannot afford two full-time shop stewards."

While the strike goes on, the non-AMCU members will continue to work on the development tunnelling in the Upper K4 mining block, and processing of kimberlite.

Underground conveyor belt system works will have no impact, the company said.

Image: DiamondCorp’s Lace mine in the Free State province. Photo: courtesy of DiamondCorp plc.