Eastplats suspends funding for South African Crocodile River mine

Canadian miner Eastern Platinum Ltd. (TSX: ELR; JSE: EPS) suspended funding for its South African Crocodile River mine last week as platinum demand and prices continue to fall.

The company also cited the ongoing labour unrest in the country and the resulting decline in productivity as factors in its decision.

Spot prices for platinum have fallen 10% in the last 12 months to $1,422 per ounce, according to Reuters.

For platinum group metals, which also include palladium and rhodium, prices are unlikely to recover in the short term owing to the weak car sales in Europe, which have been on a down turn since Oct. 2011.

Eastplats sold 19,854 ounces in the last quarter of 2011 compared to slightly more than 14,000 ounces in the same quarter of 2012.

South Africa holds about 80% of the world's platinum reserves.

Image courtesy Eastplats