Platinum Strike Plan Seen Unlikely to Bring Swift End

Johannesburg (May 29)  South africa's  new mining minister is unlikely to succeed where others failed and bring a swift end to the four-month strike at the world’s biggest platinum producers, said analysts at Investec Plc and Noah Capital Market.

Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi has assembled a team representing different government departments who are today meeting with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and employers to try to find a compromise after other efforts at mediation failed.“To date, government has had little credibility at the negotiating table,” Michael Kavanagh, a Noah analyst in Cape Town, said in a note to clients. “We are skeptical that AMCU will suddenly respect him or his ministry and as such are not overly optimistic that a solution will be found today.”Ramatlhodi, a former deputy prisons minister with no experience of the mining industry, was appointed this week to a post-election cabinet that analysts said didn’t inspire confidence in an economy battered by its longest mining strike. Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS), Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Lonmin Plc (LMI) calculate lost revenue at 20.1 billion rand ($1.9 billion) and estimate 8.9 billion in forgone pay for employees.“We hope to see progress, but don’t anticipate any rapid solution with the strike heading for its 19th week and neither side in a position to give way,” analysts including Hunter Hillcoat at Investec said in a note.