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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.

Feb 4, 2014

Higher stocks give Lonmin breathing space during strike -CEO

CAPE TOWN, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Higher stocks than usual are
helping South African platinum producer Lonmin to cope
with mining strikes that are paralising its production, its
chief executive said on Tuesday.

The world’s No. 3 platinum producer is losing about 3,100
ounces of refined output a day due to a strike over wages, which
started almost two weeks ago and has also hit bigger rivals
Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum.

Feb 4, 2014

Somaliland blessed by dodging aid “curse” – minister

CAPE TOWN, Feb 4 (Reuters) – The breakaway territory of
Somaliland cannot access foreign aid because it has not yet been
recognised internationally as a state, and that suits it just

“That is a blessing in disguise. Aid never developed
anything,” Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Somaliland’s minister of energy
and minerals, told Reuters on the sidelines of an African mining

Jan 30, 2014

Potatoes for a week: a South African platinum miner on strike

MERITING, South Africa, Jan 30 (Reuters) – South African
miner Venter Mulutsi has one food item in his small fridge: a
bag of potatoes that he hopes will last a week.

Beyond that, the Impala Platinum miner who has been
on strike for a week with around 100,000 of his comrades from
the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU),
has a bag of maize meal and a loaf of bread.

Jan 30, 2014

S.Africa platinum union rebuffs pay offer, rand falls again

RUSTENBURG, South Africa, Jan 30 (Reuters) – South Africa’s
AMCU union rejected a 9 percent wage offer on Thursday from
leading platinum producers, prolonging a week of industrial
action that has combined with a severe emerging market sell-off
to push the rand to five-year lows.

The strike has hit around 40 percent of the global supply of
platinum, used in catalytic converters in cars, and magnified
concerns about the trade deficit in Africa’s largest economy due
to its impact on a big source of foreign exchange.

    • 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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