Johannesburg, South Africa — 15 November 2012 – Leading platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) could end a miserable week for its parent company, diversified global mining giant Anglo American, with good news in the wake of a report saying Amplats’ workers have accepted a new pay deal ending weeks of acrimonious, and often violent, strikes.
Miningmx reports that the company has been struggling for two months to end the walkouts, part of a wave of often violent labour unrest that has swept through South Africa’s mines, rattling foreign investors.
The strikes, spawned by glaring income disparities and a union turf war for members, have cost Amplats close to 170,000oz in lost platinum production, which would fetch around US$250 million at current spot prices.
Amplats says it expects 2012 earnings to fall by at least 20% after its interim profits plunged almost 80%, primarily as a result of lower sales volumes and strikes.
The update added to a gloomy week for Anglo American as it searches for a new chief executive to replace outgoing Cynthia Carroll.
Shares in Anglo American have been pounded after it announced that its Minas Rio iron ore mine in Brazil faced another capital expenditure overrun taking total investment in the mine to US$14 billion, and making it the most expensive iron ore mine per tonne of metal produced.
Meanwhile, its top contributor to pretax earnings in the last financial year, Kumba Iron Ore, announced that earnings would be at least a fifth lower year-on-year owing to output interruptions and lower mineral prices globally.
The eight-week strike at Amplats operations could, however, draw to an end as early as today.
Citing a company spokesperson, Reuters said the strike committee is happy with the revised offer.
“They presented the offer to their members and encouraged them to return to work today,” Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said.