A labor dispute that all but shut platinum mines in South Africa since January is extending the longest shortfall in global production since 2005, which Morgan Stanley predicts will take at least four years to fix.
Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. is considering the mechanization of its Leeuwkop project in South Africa as a more profitable option that would support output goals set by the world’s second-biggest producer of the metal.
Doreen Joubert sits at her Mega Pawn shop and complains that a 10-week wage strike in the world’s biggest platinum-mining industry is crippling business in the South African city of Rustenburg. She’s taken up bead work to pass the time.
The largest platinum producers said an eight-week strike by members of the biggest union at their South African operations started causing irreversible damage to the mines, with sales losses exceeding $925 million.
The union leading a two-month strike at the world’s biggest platinum producers gave companies an extra year to fully meet its pay demands as it handed over a memorandum that included the revised terms.
Workers striking at the South African operations of the world’s largest platinum producers want to report for duty almost nine weeks after the biggest union called a stoppage over wages, the companies say.