Johannesburg, South Africa — 22 August 2012 – Platinum has leapt to its highest price since early May, driven by concern about supply from South Africa, where worker unrest at the country’s mines may be spreading in the wake of the Marikana massacre, in which 34 people died last week in clashes between police and unions.
Reuters reports that the outbreak of violence last week at Lonmin, the world’s third-largest producer of platinum, has paralysed production there. Since then, workers at smaller competitor Royal Bafokeng were blocked from work today, while the world’s largest producer, Anglo American Platinum said it had received a wage demand from its miners.
Spot platinum rose by as much as 1.5% to touch US$1,524.49/oz, trading at US$1,521.75/oz by early this morning.
Miners at Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s Rasimone mine in South Africa were blocked from going to work by colleagues, the National Union of Mineworkers said yesterday, in a further sign of labour troubles in the sector.
“Workers were blocked from going to work there last night and this morning by other workers. This is what our guys on the ground there are telling us," NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told Reuters.
Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.