Amplats lost almost 4,000 ounces of platinum production in one day due to strike

Workers at platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) returned to work Wednesday morning after a one-day strike affecting its mines in South Africa, the miner said Wednesday.

The world’s largest platinum producer was forced to halt mining activities at its entire operations in the country yesterday, a day after at least 13 people were injured from violence at one of its mines.

As a result, the company said it lost 3,886 ounces of platinum production.

Tensions have been high at Amplats’ mines since it announced last month a plan to close two mines in Rustenburg, sell off several of its mines and fire 14,000 workers. The company is currently in talks with unions and government over the proposal.

Early this month the miner posted an operating loss of $715 million for 2012 as it counted the cost of two months of wildcat strikes at its South African operations last year.

The loss by the company, which is 80% owned by Anglo American (LON:AAL), came after a 2011 profit of more than $1 billion, highlighting the grim financial situation it currently faces.

South Africa’s mining unrest began when operators working for London-listed platinum Lonmin (LON:LMI) went on strike asking for higher wages in August. It escalated after police shot and killed 34 protesters near Lonmin’s mine complex in Marikana, and spread across the platinum and gold sectors.

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