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Apr 17, 2014

Striking S.Africa union, platinum bosses to meet again next week

JOHANNESBURG, April 17 (Reuters) – The leaders of South
Africa’s striking AMCU union and the world’s three biggest
platinum producers will resume talks next week after they failed
again on Thursday to reach an agreement to end a crippling
walk-out entering its 13th week.

“There was some discussion but there was no agreement and
they will meet again on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. The
parties are still far apart,” said a company source close to the
talks, who asked not to be named.

Apr 17, 2014

S.Africa union, platinum bosses in fresh talks to end strike

JOHANNESBURG, April 17 (Reuters) – The leaders of South
Africa’s striking mining union and the chief executives of the
world’s three biggest platinum producers were set to meet on
Thursday, in a renewed drive to end a crippling strike entering
its 13th week.

“They will be meeting directly with the Minister of Labour
Mildred Oliphant present as well,” a spokeswoman for the
producers told Reuters.

Apr 9, 2014

S.Africa’s NUM union says regaining members in platinum belt

JOHANNESBURG, April 9 (Reuters) – South Africa’s National
Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is winning back members on the
platinum belt from rival AMCU and is poised to regain
recognition status at one of Anglo American Platinum’s
mines, its general secretary said on Wednesday.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)
emerged as the top union in the platinum shafts in 2012 after
signing up tens of thousands of NUM members during a vicious
union turf war in which dozens of people were killed.

Apr 9, 2014

South Africa’s Exxaro says might look at Amplats’ assets

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa-based coal producer Exxaro (EXXJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hopes to diversify into platinum group metals (PGMs) and is looking at opportunities which could include assets Anglo American (AAL.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has signaled it might divest.

“We scouted around in PGMs and think there are some interesting opportunities that are emerging,” Mzila Mthenjane, Exxaro’s executive head of strategy, told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit on Wednesday.

Apr 3, 2014

Lonmin declares force majeure, says workers want strike to end

JOHANNESBURG, April 3 (Reuters) – Platinum producer Lonmin
has declared “force majeure” with some
contractors at its South African mines due to the effects of a
lengthy strike, meaning a drop in business for those suppliers
and a growing impact on the economy as a whole.

The announcement by Lonmin Chief Executive Ben Magara
follows similar moves by rivals Impala Platinum and
Anglo American Platinum as the 10-week stoppage over
wage demands by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction
Union (AMCU) drags on.

Mar 28, 2014

Amplats sees job cuts inevitable as strike costs mount

JOHANNESBURG, March 28 (Reuters) – Job cuts are a certainty
in South Africa’s platinum belt because of losses stemming from
a 10-week strike in the industry, the chief executive of world
No. 1 producer American Platinum said on Friday,
raising the risk of further unrest.

CEO Chris Griffith said Amplats’ Rustenburg operations,
which account for close to 20 percent of group production, would
not make a profit this year and would likely be first in line
for job cuts.

Mar 26, 2014

South Africa mediator to resume talks with striking platinum union

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s government mediator said it will meet with the striking Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) on Wednesday to restart talks aimed at ending a crippling platinum strike now entering its tenth week.

The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) also said in a statement it would separately meet companies Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin this week.

Mar 20, 2014

S.Africa’s gold sector spawns “made in Lesotho” sushi

KATSE DAM, Lesotho, March 20 (Reuters) – The idea of
Japanese consumers eating sushi exported from a tiny African
country with no coastline may sound improbable, but the kingdom
of Lesotho is pulling it off.

Hatched in the boardroom of South African bullion producer
Gold Fields, a project called Highlands Trout is now
exporting 2,000 tonnes of rainbow trout a year, mainly to
Japanese supermarket chain CGC.

Mar 20, 2014

Mine strike hits the micro and macro in S.African economy

RUSTENBURG, South Africa, March 20 (Reuters) – As South
Africa’s biggest post-apartheid mine strike marks its eighth
week on Thursday, it is already denting growth and export
earnings, and many of those affected are having to sell their
most prized possessions to make ends meet.

In an informal bar near the platinum belt city of
Rustenburg, striking miner Oupa Majodina holds up his cell phone
to show a photo of his pride and joy: his cattle.

Mar 17, 2014

Losses mount as S.Africa faces biggest post-apartheid mine strike

JOHANNESBURG, March 17 (Reuters) – With no end in sight,
South Africa’s platinum strike is set to become the biggest
single stoppage to hit the country’s mining sector since the end
of apartheid in 1994, and now threatens the viability of an
industry already in deep trouble.

Revenue and production losses look sure to top those
experienced in 2012, when a wave of rolling, wildcat strikes
pushed Anglo American Platinum into the red and forced
Lonmin into a rights issue to shore up its finances.

    • 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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