This was as a result of the unresolved industrial action involving the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which commenced on 23 January 2014.
The South African platinum company also stated that production from other mining operations, which typically accounts for about 45 per cent of the group’s total production, remained unaffected.
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“Our good start to the financial year was severely impacted in the third quarter by the protracted wage strike at our Impala Rustenburg operation. Whilst all other operations maintained their strong safety and operational performances, production at Impala was significantly reduced due to the closure of the mine during the strike,” said [DATA IMP:Implats] chief executive, Terence Goodlace.
“We remain committed to finding a negotiated wage settlement that is both affordable and sustainable for the business. However, we expect the strike to constrain group performance for the remainder of the financial year.”
Platinum in concentrate at Implats’ Marula operations however, increased to 17,000 ounces for the quarter ending 31 March 2014 from 15,000 ounces for the same period in 2013.
At Mimosa, platinum in concentrate increased from 26,000 ounces in 2013 to 27,000 ounces in 2014 while platinum in matte at Zimplats decreased from 64,000 ounces to 58,000 ounces.
“The economic realities of the company and the industry cannot be ignored by AMCU. We have resolved with the other platinum mining companies that are also being affected by the strike to communicate our settlement offer directly to employees,” the company said.
“During the period of the strike to date, Impala has lost revenue of 5.4 billion rand, while employees have forfeited wages of approximately 1.4 billion rand. All other operations should continue to meet planned performance targets and the stockpiled concentrates from Marula, Mimosa and Two Rivers will be processed in the current quarter.”
Implats added that the full impact of the cash preservation measures can only be fully assessed once the Rustenburg operations have resumed and the situation has normalised.