South Africa’s platinum output choked as workers go on strike

Suzie Neuwirth
SOUTH Africa’s three largest platinum miners yesterday confirmed in separate statements that their workers had gone on strike and that production would be affected.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the dominant union representing the companies’ workers, had informed Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and Impala Platinum (Implats) that they intended to go on strike yesterday, asking for higher wages.

The chief executives of the three companies have said the wage demands are “unaffordable and unrealistic”.

FTSE 250-listed Lonmin said that it expects to lose around 3,100 ounces of platinum output per day during the strike. Impala said it would lose 2,800 ounces per day and Amplats said it “expects production to be impacted” but did not give an estimate of losses.

All three miners – which together produce over 50 per cent of the world’s platinum – said that the principle of “no-work no-pay” will be effective.