Three weeks have passed since the initial safety suspension and the subsequent industrial action by employees in the Rustenburg area. Despite Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats) repeated calls for employees to return to work, they have continued to experience attendance levels of less than 20%. Currently four of the company’s mining operations in the Rustenburg area have insufficient staff to operate and only essential services are being carried out at those mines.
The Rustenburg concentrators, smelters and refineries and Bathopele Mine continue to operate normally.
According to the company, disciplinary hearings for striking Rustenburg miners have been completed and affected employees will be informed of the outcome of the hearings today (October 5, 2012). Those employees will have three working days to appeal the outcome. Approximately 12,000 striking employees chose not to make representations, nor attend the hearings, and have therefore been dismissed in their absence.
Amplats also confirms that the company has begun to experience strike contagion at its Union and Amandelbult (Tumela and Dishaba) operations, where workers have presented memorandums of demands similar to those received in Rustenburg.
The Union and Amandelbult Mines, including Mortimer Smelter, are not in operation due to insufficient attendance.
Anglo American Platinum confirms that as a result of the illegal industrial action of its employees and the initial safety suspension, total lost platinum production has amounted to 39,000 oz, resulting in approximately R700 million ($82.7 million) of lost revenue.