Parties to consult on platinum strike talks

Johannesburg-South Africa (June 1) Negotiations to resolve the platinum wage dispute has reach consultation stage, the department of mineral resources said on Saturday.

"We are at a stage where business has to report to shareholder and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) to report to members," said spokesperson Mahlodi Muofhe.

Newly appointed Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi announced an inter-governmental technical team on Wednesday, to resolve the strike.

The team comprised officials from the departments of mineral resources, labour and the National Treasury, supported by representatives from the mining companies and Amcu.

Muofhe said the parties were expected to consult their principal within a reasonable time.

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) downed tools on January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

They rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12 500 by 2017.

The strike now on its 128th day, has been marred by violence and intimidation.

The strike has cost the companies R20.4bn in revenue and the employees have lost R9.1bn in earnings according to a website created by the companies.

NOTE:  South Africa is by far the largest producer of platinum worldwide (75% of world's total platinum mine production).  Moreover, its platinum reserves represent 95% of the world's total reserves.