Wires

Xstrata's Eland mine in S.Africa hit by strikes

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Workers at Xstrata'sEland platinum mine in South Africa have embarked on an illegalstrike, leaving the plant operating on skeleton staff, aspokesman said on Monday, the latest in a wave of wildcatwalkouts in the platinum sector.

"We can confirm that Eland Platinum has been on strikesince last Friday," company spokesman Christopher Tsatsawanesaid.

(Reporting by Sherilee Lakmidas; Writing by Agnieszka Flak)

((agnieszka.flak@thomsonreuters.com)(+27 11 775 3154)(ReutersMessaging: agnieszka.flak.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: SAFRICA STRIKES/XSTRATA