Striking miners in South Africa remain defiant
South African miners on an illegal strike against the world’s top platinum producer defied management threats of dismissal yesterday, throwing down the gauntlet as another wildcat stoppage hit the country’s restive mining sector.
Anglo American Platinum, the top producer of the white metal and a unit of global mining group Anglo American, said on Thursday it would begin disciplinary action against illegal strikers and could fire them.
Four of Amplats’ Rustenburg mines, accounting for a quarter of group output, have been idle for more than two weeks, costing the company at least 20,000 ounces in lost output to date – $33 million at current spot prices.
A wave of illegal mine strikes is roiling Africa’s biggest economy despite the end of a bloody six-week stoppage at another platinum producer, Lonmin, in which 46 people were killed.
Spot platinum was up 1.4 per cent at $1,665.74 an ounce, on track for a 15.4 per cent quarterly rise.
Amplats said it would send text messages telling employees to get back to work.
In the shantytowns ringing the platinum belt city of Rustenburg, 120 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg, workers said they were prepared to stand their ground. (Reuters)