Picture: Timothy Bernard.

Johannesburg - Anglo American Platinum is “hopeful” of an end to South Africa’s longest and costliest mining strike as its main union prepares for discussions with workers next week after meeting with the employers.

Leaders of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union will hold a gathering with its members on June 23 in Rustenburg, Jimmy Gama, the organisation’s treasurer, said by text.

The union met with each of the employers, Anglo American Platinum, or Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin, yesterday and today to discuss conditions raised by the union over a pay proposal presented to workers last week.

“Our meeting with Amcu has been constructive and we’re hopeful about a positive outcome in the very near future,” Mpumi Sithole, an Amplats spokeswoman, said today by phone.

Impala spokesman Johan Theron and Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey didn’t immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

The Amcu has led a strike by more than 70,000 workers since January 23 in support of higher pay.

The producers last week agreed in principle to monthly pay gains of as much as 1,000 rand a year on current basic wages of about 5,000 rand to 6,000 rand.

Companies said they’ve so far lost 23.4 billion rand in sales and employees missed out on 10.4 billion rand in wages. - Bloomberg News