Platinum Strike Continues: Resolutions End in Failure
South Africa’s major platinum producers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) met on Monday to resolve the longest mining strike in its history. Things did not go according to plan.
"No agreement was reached today," Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union told reporters as he left the talks in Pretoria.
After two weeks of state-brokered negotiation, the two parties remained deadlocked as efforts to end the five-month platinum strike ended in failure. The latest rounds of negotiations were led by Ngoako Ramathlodi, Minister of Mineral Resources.
Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holding Ltd. and Lonmin Plc, the world’s three largest producers of platinum “will now review further options available,” they said in a joint email today after the talks in Pretoria ended “without an outcome.”
More than 70,000 mineworkers have been on strike since Jan. 23, demanding higher pay. The workers are asking for wages to be more than doubled to 12,500 rand ($1,200) a month.
"AMCU made many concessions. We actually moved twice to make employers move closer to us," Mathunjwa said.
The strike has halted mines that normally account for 40 percent of global platinum output and has affected economic output in Africa’s most advanced economy.
“There’s just no compromise from their (union) side and they just don’t accept the financial realities of what we can and can’t do right now,” a spokesperson for Impala said.
The three companies said in a statement they had forfeited earnings of 22 billion rand and employees have lost about 9.6 billion rand in wages since the strike.
Newmont acquires Canada’s GT Gold in $325mn deal
Newmont, the world’s biggest gold miner, has acquired Canada’s GT Gold in a deal worth $325mn. The gold giant now controls the Tatogga gold-copper project in the Traditional Territory of the Tahltan Nation.
“With the acquisition of GT Gold and the Tatogga project in the highly sought-after Golden Triangle district of British Columbia, Canada, Newmont continues to strengthen our world-class portfolio,” commented Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer.
“We look forward to continuing to build a respectful and meaningful relationship with the Tahltan Nation, including the community of Iskut. The relationships we have with Indigenous communities, First Nations and host communities are critical to the way we operate. We will partner with the Tahltan Nation at all levels, and with the Government of British Columbia to ensure a shared path forward as the Company understands and acknowledges that Tahltan consent is necessary for advancing the Tatogga project.”
Newmont’s acquisition includes the Tatogga project, comprised primarily of the Saddle North deposit, which has the potential to contribute future significant gold and copper annual production. There are also further exploration opportunities beyond the known deposits at Saddle North within the land package. The Tatogga project adds to Newmont’s existing interest in the prospective Golden Triangle through the company’s 50% ownership in the Galore Creek project.
Newmont is the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead. A world-class portfolio of assets, prospects and talent is anchored in favourable mining jurisdictions in North America, South America, Australia and Africa. The American miner is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month.
With gold prices on the rise, the last six months has seen gold industry M&A activity accelerating. A recent Mckinsey report, advises that the industry need to be mindful of mistakes made during the previous gold price boom, when growth was chased unidirectionally by several companies.