Striking Implats miners to vote on wages; AMCU rejects latest offer

Implats strikers. Source: Youtube, SABC News.

Impala Platinum (Implats) (LSE: IPLA), (JSE: IMP), the world’s second largest supplier of platinum, will ask its striking South African employees to vote on its latest wage offer by SMS this week.

The vote, Reuters reports, would involve miners who are willing to take part in a poll asking them whether they wanted to return to work.

The now 15-week-long strike is a costly one. Miners said in March damages were irreversible and that they had lost nearly over a billion dollars in revenue by then. Implats had to shut down operations in January ahead of the announced strike for safety reasons. Rivals Anglo American Platinum (LON:AAL) and Lonmin (LON:LMI) have also been severely hit the strike.

Combined production of Impala, Amplats and Lonmin account for almost 50% of the world’s platinum. Including smaller producers, the African nation is responsible for 70% of global mined supply, with Russia making up a big chunk of the remainder.

The price of platinum jumped this week on deficit forecast, after GFMS Platinum & Palladium Survey 2014 reported last week that roughly 10,000 ounces of platinum production and 5,000 ounces of palladium are lost each day the strike drags on.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) rejected the producers’ latest offer of 12,500 rand (US$1205.68) a month by 2017 with benefits, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Impala’s voting results won’t be disclosed before May 13. Meanwhile Lonmin is aiming to restart its operations on May 14.

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