Amcu: Amplats sale not linked to strike

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AmcuStrikeAllGreen Independent Media. Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Johannesburg - Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) plan to sell its mines in Rustenburg, North West, has no link to the recent wage strike in the platinum sector, Amcu said on Tuesday.

“We submit that the magnitude of this decision is not one that can be taken in a month, it has always been coming,” Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa said.

“As a union we are prepared to discuss the plans of the company to protect the interest of our members in this transition process.”

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

The strike ended on June 24 when they accepted a three-year wage deal that will increase salaries by R1000 in the first and second year of the agreement and R950 in the third year.

Amplats announced on July 21 that it planned to sell its Rustenburg and Union mines.

“The intention to exit Union mine (in Limpopo)... has already been announced, and it has now been concluded that Rustenburg and our Pandora JV asset will be better placed in the hands of new owners who would be able to provide the focus and capital for the operations to have a successful future,” chief executive Chris Griffith said in a statement at the time.

The company broke the news in a statement, reporting vastly reduced profits for the six months ending June 30, 2014.

Griffith said the dominant feature of the first half of the year was the strike during which 40 percent of Amplats's production was not in operation.

Mathunjwa said there was no need to panic as there were due processes that needed to be followed.

He urged the mineral resources department to ensure that the company's licence obligations were observed during the transition period.

“We are aware that the company is planning to expand the new operations in open cast mining in Limpopo at the same time negating existing operations that are still profitable.”

He said the department should ensure the continued expropriation of Rustenburg minerals without them being undermined by new exploration. - Sapa

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