'Amplats issue will be resolved'

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BR_SUSAN_SHABANGU Independent Newspapers Susan Shabangu will head a brand-new department, within the presidency, dedicated to women. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Cape Town - Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on Tuesday voiced confidence that tension between the state and Anglo American Platinum would be resolved.

“I am happy and satisfied that we are talking to Amplats, and it is going to yield positive results,” Shabangu told reporters after opening the Mining Indaba 2013 in Cape Town.

“We understand the pain faced by the platinum sector; we are part of it as government, as a country, and we need to find lasting solutions among ourselves.

“It is not their problem, it is our problem as a whole, as a country, and we have to share that problem in finding a common solution in that.”

Last week, Shabangu described Amplats as a “child” that was brought back into line after putting plans to retrench 14,000

workers on ice while holding talks with labour and the government.

Last month, the minister warned the mining company it was putting its licence at risk and accused it of arrogance for not initially including the government in the discussions.

Asked about these remarks, Shabangu replied: “It was not controversial I must say, it was a factual statement, and also it reflects a challenge when you realise the tension between partners or between stakeholders.”

She added that the tension between the ministry and the company had underscored the importance of building trust between all involved in mining.

“What happened during the Amplats issue was that it shows that there was a breakdown, which we have acknowledged, but it also an issue of saying, how do we reposition and have mutual trust and understanding among stakeholders?

“Mining companies; we want to urge them to continue respecting the regulatory framework.”

Amplats on Monday reported its first ever annual loss after its output plunged eight percent, because of wildcat strikes at its mines near Rustenburg last year. - Sapa



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