The platinum producers Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin have met with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) to sign a 3-year wage agreement that would bring an end to the 5-month strike at Lonmin’s office in Melrose Arch.

The wage deal includes monthly raises for the lowest-paid employees of R1 000 in basic pay in the first two years of the agreement, with the same raise at Lonmin and a R950 raise at Impala and Amplats in the third year.

Employees are expected to return to work on Wednesday, 25 June 2014, with the full resumption of operations in the coming weeks.

“It is only a first step to rebuild our businesses,” said Lonmin Chief Executive Officer Ben Magara. “It is not necessarily a time of celebration. Clearly there are no winners in this strike.”

The strike, which began on 23 January 2014, has been South Africa’s longest and costliest strike, with employers forfeiting revenue of approximately R24 billion and employees losing earnings of some R10.6 billion.

“We welcome this positive development in the mining industry and congratulate all those who have been involved in the negotiations,” South African President Jacob Zuma said in a statement. “A long protracted strike was no longer in the interests of the parties involved or the country at large.”

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