Senior Correspondent
Ed's Feed
Jan 22, 2014

South Africa’s Implats shuts mines ahead of platinum strike

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shut its Rustenburg operations on Wednesday a day before a planned strike over wages across the country’s platinum belt by the hardline Association of Mineworkers and Construction union (AMCU).

AMCU, the platinum industry’s main trade union, plans to strike from Thursday at Implats, Anglo American Platinum (AMSJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Lonmin (LMI.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the top three producers of the metal used in emissions-capping catalytic converters in cars.

Jan 22, 2014

Amplats says back in profit, but South Africa strikes loom

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Anglo American Platinum
(Amplats) swung back into profit in 2013 as it
rebounded from a wave of wildcat strikes but its recovery is
threatened by looming strikes across South Africa’s platinum
belt.

Maintaining profit margins will be tough if the hardline
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) goes
ahead with its planned industrial action on Thursday at Amplats
and rivals Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

Jan 21, 2014

Platinum bosses say “unrealistic” demands behind S.Africa strike

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Bosses of the world’s top
three platinum producers accused South Africa’s AMCU union of
making “unaffordable and unrealistic” demands on Tuesday ahead
of a strike this week which could hit over half of global output
of the precious metal.

The chief executives of Anglo American Platinum,
Impala Platinum and Lonmin made the dramatic
warning as signs of some divisions emerged in the hardline
Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which has
called the stoppage for Thursday.

Jan 21, 2014

Splits in AMCU union ahead of South Africa platinum strike

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Dissidents in South
Africa’s AMCU union are forming a rival to the militant labour
group, accusing its leadership of recklessly pursuing a damaging
strike in the country’s platinum sector which many miners do not
want and cannot afford.

The stakes are high as the Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union plans to strike on Thursday over wages at the
world’s top three producers in a showdown between companies
battling to maintain margins and workers struggling to feed
their families.

Jan 19, 2014

South Africa’s AMCU union to strike at world’s top platinum producers

RUSTENBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – The main trade union for South African platinum miners will strike next week at the world’s top three producers, hitting over half of global output and the margins of companies struggling to make profits.

A simultaneous stoppage at the three producers would hit a key South African export at a time when the rand currency is near five-year lows, and deal a fresh blow to investor confidence in Africa’s biggest economy.

Jan 17, 2014

More than 1,000 rhinos poached in South Africa last year – Government

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – More than 1,000 rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa in 2013, a record number and an increase of over 50 percent from the previous year, the country’s department of environmental affairs said on Friday.

Rhino hunting is driven by soaring demand in newly affluent Asian countries such as Vietnam and China, where the animal’s horns are prized as a key ingredient in traditional medicine.

Jan 15, 2014

S.Africa’s AMCU union threatens platinum sector strike

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 15 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said on Wednesday
it would call a strike in the platinum industry if its members
backed such action.

AMCU members have voted in favour of a stoppage at Impala
Platinum over wages, and the union will canvas its rank
and file this week at Anglo American Platinum and
Lonmin.

Jan 13, 2014

S. Africa’s AMCU says members vote to strike at Implats

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 13 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said its workers
had voted in favour of a strike over wages at Impala Platinum
(Implats), the world’s second-largest producer of the
metal.

“They said to go on strike,” AMCU spokesman Jimmy Gama said
on Monday. He did not provide any other details or say when the
strike was due to start.

Jan 2, 2014

Connect the dots: infant mortality, graft and elephant poaching

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 2 (Reuters) – What do infant mortality and
elephant poaching have in common? Plenty, according to
conservation groups.

Researchers have for the first time made clear connections
between elephant poaching in Africa, which has been surging to
meet soaring ivory demand in Asia, and factors such as poverty,
as shown by high rates of child deaths, and corruption.

Dec 13, 2013

Amplats says AMCU union now represents 60 pct of miners

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Upstart South African
miners’ union AMCU has increased its membership at Anglo
American Platinum , the world’s top producer of
the metal, by 50 percent in the last five months and now
represents 60 percent of shaft workers, the company said on
Friday.

The new figures, supplied to Reuters from the company’s
human resources department by spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole, come as
the hardline Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union
faces a fresh challenge to deliver after rival unions signed a
wage deal this week with the company.

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
      Joined Reuters:
      1995
    • Follow Ed