Happier times “’
workers at Impala
Platinum’s Rustenburg
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 February 2012 – Impala Platinum Holdings Limited “’ the world’s number two producer of the precious metal “’ says it will rehire 15,000 of the 17,200 workers it dismissed after an illegal strike that has halted output at its Rustenburg mine for almost a month.

“It is not our intention to turn anyone away,” group executive for people Johan Theron said by phone. “Some people have been guilty of misconduct and those we will not take back. A number of people who didn’t want to get caught up in the violence took their exit medicals, and we expect some of them to come back.” \

The situation at the mine was “calm” today although production had not resumed, he added.

The Rustenburg mine has been shut for four weeks, costing the company about 3,000 ounces of platinum a day. Rock-drill operators went on an illegal strike in January after they didn’t get a pay increase awarded to miners. The majority of workers didn’t report for duty on 30 January, halting the mine and prompting the company to fire 17,200 workers.

Four have been killed so far and more than 54 injured in violence related to the strike at the operation, northwest of Johannesburg. Police dispersed miners gathering to protest last week by firing on crowds with rubber bullets. Shops were looted and roads blocked with burning tires.

Impala will re-employ the dismissed workers under their former terms and conditions if they apply by 29 February, the company said. The workers won’t be paid for the days on which they were on strike, it added.