Amplats in R6.3bn loss
With thousands of jobs still hanging in the balance, the world's largest platinum producer announced an operating loss of more than R6.3-billion yesterday.
This is a shock result for Anglo Platinum, which made a profit of about R8-billion in the previous year.
But Minister in the Presidency: National Planning Trevor Manuel told delegates at a mining conference in Cape Town yesterday that South Africa was still a good investment destination .
Illegal strikes came to international attention on August 16 when 34 miners were killed, allegedly by police, at Lonmin's Marikana mine. Amplats cited illegal strikes as factors that pushed it in the red.
Last month, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu lambasted the company on its restructuring plans, which would result in four shafts being mothballed and 14000 jobs affected.
Amplats and Shabangu's department have since agreed to put the looming job losses on hold for 60 days, apart from the 60 days mandated by the Labour Relations Act.
Manuel said it "can't be in the interest of the private sector or the government to chase each other out of the park". But he said it was necessary for the platinum industry "to utilise our resource differently".
Amplats CEO Chris Griffith described 2012 as a "very tough" year. He said Amplats needed to do something about its profitability,adding that restructuring would probably be the only way.
Harmony Gold yesterday announced a R680-million profit despite major disruptions at its Kusasalethu mine.
The mine is not operational at present.
About 6000 jobs are on the line as the company tries to convince employees to accept a deal that would lead operations at the mine returning to normal.
CEO Graham Briggs said they were close to an agreement and that the mine could be reopened by June.