Impala Platinum expects limited impact from Rustenburg strike

Impala Platinum mine and processing plant – Rustenberg, South Africa. Image from BBC World Service | Flickr

A strike by contract workers at Impala Platinum’s Rustenburg operations in South Africa involved less than 8% of the mine’s workforce and was limited to two of its nine shafts, the company said on Monday.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA)said its members working for three contracting companies engaged by Impala at Rustenburg had begun an indefinite strike on Monday over low pay.

“These contractors are exploiting workers by paying them a fraction of what their permanent colleagues earn for doing exactly the same job. These contract companies grossly exploit workers and Impala Platinum has shamefully washed its hands of the situation,” NUMSA said in a statement.

The three mining contractors were not immediately available to comment.

Impala spokesperson Johan Theron said the strike’s impact was limited because NUMSA has only 3,000 members out of the mine’s 45,000-strong workforce.

“It will only impact production at two of our small, high-cost, end-of-life shafts where the contractors do the mining,” Theron said.

The Rustenburg mine accounted for nearly half of Impala’s output of 2.93 million ounces of platinum group metals in its 2021 financial year.

Impala’s Johannesburg-listed shares were down a little more than 3% at 0926 GMT.

(By Nelson Banya; Editing by David Goodman)

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