Platinum spikes higher on renewed South Africa violence
The spot platinum price jumped $14.30 on Monday, adding almost 1% to $1,692 an ounce in New York on news of renewed violence at South African mines, the number one supplier of the metal.
Reuters reports at least 13 workers were injured at an Anglo American Platinum mine near Rustenburg, the heart of the African nation's platinum industry, and police had to fire rubber bullets to break up a fight between two rival unions.
In January Amplats put on hold a decision to fire close to 14,000 workers at its South African operations and shut at least three mines after a six-week illegal strike.
Last year saw waves of wildcat strikes and violence across the South African mining industry that was sparked by clashes at Lonmin's Marikana mine between the same two unions that ended in the death of close to 50 miners, most of them at the hands of police.
Last week platinum hit a four-month high after Zimbabwe, number three global producer of PGMs, decided to ban raw exports of the precious metal.
South Africa produces more than 75% of the global platinum supply, while most of the remainder comes from Russia.
Sister metal palladium also gained on Monday, adding $9.35 or 1.2% to $762.50.
Primarily used to reduce harmful emissions from vehicles, platinum is now up 9.5% so far this year and sister metal palladium has added over 8% in value in 2013, trading at its highest since September 2011.