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Feb 20, 2014

South Africa’s AMCU union digs in on platinum strike

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 20 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) vowed on Thursday
to continue a strike against the world’s top three platinum
producers, a move its president described as a “fight for
survival” by workers.

AMCU’s intention to dig in for the long haul dashes any hope
for the stoppage to end soon. The strike, already a month old,
has hit over 40 percent of global platinum production and dealt
a blow to investor confidence in Africa’s largest economy.

Feb 19, 2014

S.African platinum bosses may seek to have strike outlawed

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 19 (Reuters) – The chief executive of
Anglo American Platinum said on Wednesday court action
might be taken to have a four-week strike against it and other
platinum producers declared illegal given alleged violence by
the AMCU union.

Chris Griffith was speaking at a media briefing along with
chief executives of Lonmin and Impala Platinum.
Their operations have been hit by the same strike, which has no
end in sight in light of the fact that the two sides remain
poles apart on the issue of wages.

Feb 19, 2014

Australians to dig Gold Fields out of trouble at mechanised mine

WESTONARIA, South Africa, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Down under the
South African earth, Australian accents are leading a drive to
unlock the wealth one of the world’s largest gold reserves.

Gold Fields has brought in a crack Australian
engineering team to help overcome one of its most daunting
challenges: ramping up production on its mechanised South Deep
mine, its last and troublesome South African asset.

Feb 18, 2014

SAfrica miners’ strike to drive up platinum over time

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON Feb 18 (Reuters) – A face-off between
platinum producers and striking miners in South Africa has had
negligible impact on metals prices so far, but that is likely to
change if the action grinds on past the end of the month and
stocks are drawn down.

The strike by South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union (AMCU) against the world’s top three platinum
mining companies has so far failed to ruffle traders.

Feb 16, 2014

Amplats sues S. Africa’s AMCU union for platinum strike damages

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Anglo American Platinum
said on Sunday it was suing South Africa’s Association
of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) for 591 million
rand ($54 million) in damages it said resulted from ongoing
strike action by AMCU members.

AMCU-affiliated workers downed tools over three weeks ago at
Amplats, the world’s No. 1 platinum producer, and also at rivals
Impala Platinum and Lonmin in a sector-wide
stoppage over wages that has again rattled business confidence
in Africa’s largest economy.

Feb 13, 2014

Gold Fields says SEC probe hinders its access to debt markets

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 13 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Gold Fields
said a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
probe of a deal in which it gave a stake in a mine to black
investors was hindering its access to debt markets but it could
still make use of bank financing.

Such investigations raise legal concerns with issuers in
debt capital markets, making it more arduous for companies under
investigation to tap them.

Feb 11, 2014

S.Africa’s Kumba says efforts pay off to improve labour relations

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Kumba Iron
Ore On Tuesday hailed the vastly improved labour
relations it had achieved since suffering a crippling and
violent illegal strike in 2012, setting an example for the
country’s turbulent mining sector.

Reporting a 24 percent rise in underlying full-year
earnings, Africa’s top iron ore producer highlighted its
recovery from the wave of illegal strikes, rooted in a bruising
union turf war, which swept South Africa’s mining sector in

Feb 11, 2014

S.Africa’s Kumba earnings up, says labour situation better

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 11 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Kumba Iron
Ore reported a rise in full-years earnings on Tuesday,
due to higher export prices and a weaker rand, and said its
labour environment had greatly improved since a crippling and
violent illegal strike in 2012.

Kumba, Africa’s top iron ore producer, said diluted headline
earnings per share for the year to end-December rose to 48.02
rand from 38.76 a year earlier. The company had flagged to the
market that it expected a number between 46.60 rand and 49.00.

Feb 5, 2014

South Sudan is medium-term frontier of choice for Randgold -CEO

CAPE TOWN, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Africa-focused bullion producer
Randgold Resources says South Sudan is its first choice
as a country to explore and mine for gold, chief executive Mark
Bristow said, estimating that the conflict there will be over in
four to five years.

Since secession from Sudan in 2011, the country has been
wracked by a power struggle between the government and rebels,
and thousands of people have been killed and 800,000 displaced
since last December.

Feb 5, 2014

South Africa hard sell at its own mining bash

CAPE TOWN, Feb 5 (Reuters) – South Africa hosts the annual
Africa mining conference but the country is a hard sell at its
own party.

Outside investors are increasingly wary of South Africa’s
mining sector and extra salt is being rubbed into its
reputational wound as the conference coincides with a massive
strike in its platinum shafts.

    • 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."
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