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South African Platinum Miners Expected to Strike For Higher Wages

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) in South Africa, which represents most workers at the world’s top three platinum companies and some of the largest gold mines in the nation, on Monday notified mining companies of a strike over wages within 48 hours.

This means that on Thursday, workers will down tools at three of the largest platinum mines in the world.

“Event risks are still evident as talks continue on a seemingly imminent strike in the mining sector,” Mohammed Nalla, head of strategic research at Nedbank Group Ltd. in Johannesburg, said via email.

The AMCU delivered strike notices to Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Lonmin Plc., and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. yesterday. Gold producers including AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. also confirmed they’ve been notified of the strike.

South Africa’s finance minister has raised concerns about the impact the strike will have on the economy.

Analysts are also concerned about the broader impact on global markets, especially major importers of platinum in Asia.

South Africa accounted for 73 percent of global platinum primary production in 2012, according to the Chamber of Mines’ website. Mining production slowed to 5.1 percent in November from 22 percent a month earlier, Statistics South Africa said on Jan. 14.


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