Anglo American to shed strike-hit S.Africa platinum mines

21st July 2014, Comments 0 comments

Top global producer Anglo American Platinum said Monday it would offload some of its South African mines following a debilitating five-month wage strike that cut annual production by 40 percent.

"We have decided that we will exit from the Union and Rustenburg mines," the firm said, announcing interim results that showed it lost at least 424,000 ounces during the industrial action.

The firm's operations in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, were hit hard when around 80,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) downed tools in January for higher pay.

The parties signed a new wage deal at the end of June.

Amplats' headline earnings fell to $14.8 million (10.9 million euros) in the first six months of the year, compared to $126.2 million in the same period last year.

The platinum producing arm of Anglo American merged parts of its Rustenburg and Union operations last year to help boost profits.

The company said the mines "will be better placed in the hands of a new owner who would be able to provide the focus and capital for the operations to have a successful and long future".

Amplats will also give up its Pandora mine, which is jointly-owned with a subsidiary of London-listed Lonmin.

© 2014 AFP

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