Data provided by McGregor BFA
All data is delayed
Loading...
See More

Amplats: Mining in financial distress

Nov 02 2012 07:58 Reuters
Amplats worker

Amplats worker (Picture: AFP)

Related Articles

Amplats to transfer Zim mine to locals

Amplats mines still down

Amplats strike continues

Workers gather after Amplats protests

Amplats to reinstate 12 000 strikers

Amplats miners won't return to work

 

Johannesburg - South Africa's platinum industry is in "severe financial distress" and high wage settlements to get wildcat strikers back to work will lead to job cuts, Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] said.

The world's top platinum producer said it was losing production averaging 3 694 ounces of platinum per day due to a strike at its South African operations that is in its seventh week. To date 141 640 oz of the precious metal have been lost.

"This is completely the wrong time to be offering unsustainable wage increases that the moment people are back at work you just have to (lay off) a whole lot of people," the firm's chief executive Chris Griffith told Talk Radio 702 On Thursday.

"There will be implications for jobs," he said adding that Amplats could not "negotiate in a climate of anarchy".

Amplats' parent company Anglo American [JSE:AGL] has already placed its four Rustenburg mines "under review" - management-speak for their possible closure.

Layoffs in the mining industry were a prime factor behind a rise in unemployment in the third quarter that left more than one in four of the labour force out of work.

Months of unrest in the mines have hit platinum and gold output, threatened growth and drawn criticism of President Jacob Zuma for his handling of the most damaging strikes since the end of apartheid in 1994.

But the number of strikes has dropped in the last two weeks amid management threats of mass dismissals and some payment sweeteners.

Amplats said last week it had reached a deal with several unions and would be offering incentives such as one-off hardship payments of R2 000 to end the strike that has crippled production.

But the workers turned down the offer, saying Amplats should match a salary increase of up to 22% offered by rival Lonmin after a violent wildcat walkout at its nearby Marikana platinum mine in August.

The Lonmin offer came after the police killing of 34 miners on August 16, the bloodiest security incident since apartheid.

Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum producer, is scrambling to get back on its feet after the violent six-week strike that crippled production and led it to ask shareholders for $800m in a rights issue on Tuesday.

The company also gave unions notice of a restructuring, with proposed job losses in its 25 000-strong work force expected to be implemented in early 2013.

Striking workers at gold firms including AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] returned to work last week after threats of mass dismissals and an offer of a small pay increase.

 
anglo platinum  |  mining unrest
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
40 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're Talking About: Small Business

Standard Bank is looking for 12 entrepreneurs to participate in a 10-part TV series. They could win a R1m investment into their dream.
 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...