HomeNewsImpala's output drops 46% in March quarter

Impala’s output drops 46% in March quarter

A convertor furnace
at Impala Platinum’s
mineral processes
Johannesburg, South Africa — 29 May 2012 – Impala Platinum “’ the world’s second largest platinum producer “’ says it production of refined platinum fell 46% in the three months to the end of March this year, and adds that it expects its embattled Rustenburg mine to return to pre-strike levels in June.

Reuters reports that the company had confirmed that it had lost 120,000oz in production earlier this year to a violent, six-week illegal strike sparked by a turf war between rival trade unions.

Implats said production in the three-month period had fallen to 230,000oz from 425,000oz in the same quarter of last year. Production had declined by 22% for the nine-months to end March to a level of 1.08Moz.

The battle between unions had halted the company’s operations at the world’s largest platinum mine. The fight halted operations again last week but workers were back at work within two days. The stoppage cost the company another 3,000oz in lost production per day.

The company statement added that nearly 11,000 employees had resigned from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the industry’s largest trade union.

It said NUM’s rival, the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), had approached the company to be recognised as a union. AMCU officials told Reuters it had enlisted more than 12,000 members at the Rustenburg operations,

Implats pointed out that output had also been hurt by a reduction of third party material processed by Impala Refining Services.

Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.