Picture: Boxer Ngwenya.

Johannesburg - Platinum producer Lonmin has not mothballed mine shafts due to the almost five-month-old Amcu strike, the company said on Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Sue Vey said the company had not taken this step.

The industry's lost earnings as a result of the strike have passed R21.8 billion.

Vey said the company was aware that Bapo ba Mogale, the tribe that owned the platinum-rich land where Lonmin mined near Rustenburg, had approached the Constitutional Court and the North West High Court regarding the strike.

Bapo ba Mogale reportedly approached the courts in a bid to have the ongoing Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) strike declared unlawful and unconstitutional.

“As to whether this will have an effect depends on the courts,” Vey said.

Bapo ba Mogale was not immediately available for comment.

According to Lonmin's website, the company has paid royalties valued at around R370 million to the Bapo ba Mogale Community via the North West provincial government, which holds the money in trust on behalf of the community.

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

They have so far rejected the companies' offer that would bring their cash remuneration to R12,500 by July 2017.

An inter-governmental task team set up by Minerals and Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi in a bid to end the strike pulled out of negotiations on Monday, having failed to broker a deal.

Ramatlhodi on Tuesday denied that he “abandoned” the wage negotiations.

“I strongly believe we've done enough work... for the parties to be able to move forward [independently],” he told reporters in Pretoria. - Sapa