Johannesburg - The stage is set for a protracted and grinding showdown between platinum mines and striking Amcu workers, following collapsed negotiations and rejected revised wage demands.
Wage talks collapsed between the world's top platinum producers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction workers Union (Amcu) on Wednesday, dashing hopes for an end soon to a crippling six-week strike.
The precious metal's spot price spiked to four-month high of $1 472.50 after Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS], Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] and Lonmin [JSE:LON] announced that the government mediated talks had broken down.
The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), said "parties still remain far apart".
"The CCMA has decided to adjourn the process to give all parties an opportunity to reflect on their respective positions," said director Nerine Kahn.
Implats CEO Terence Goodlace confirmed in a statement that talks have been adjourned and Amplats added that the talks "have been suspended indefinitely".
Lonmin indicated that it remained open to resolution of the impasse with Amcu.
CEO Ben Magara also cautioned that the longer the strike continues, the greater the impact be on revenue and jobs.
Amcu said on Tuesday it had softened its stance for the first time, saying it now want staggered increases to bring the basic entry wage to R12 500 a month in three years' time.
However, the companies have not blinked and say they remained committed to their offer of increases of up to 9%.
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