• 50 mins Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 3 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 5 hours OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 6 hours London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 7 hours Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 9 hours Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 16 hours India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 21 hours Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 1 day Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 1 day Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 1 day Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 1 day Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 2 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 2 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 2 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 2 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 2 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 2 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 2 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 2 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 2 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 3 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 3 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 3 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 3 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 3 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 3 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 6 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 6 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 6 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 6 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 6 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 7 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 7 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 7 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 7 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 7 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
Alt Text

Is Brazil The Next Big Platinum Frontier?

The geology of both the…

Alt Text

The Precious Metal Heading For A Supply Squeeze

Africa’s mining industry has had…

South African Platinum Faces Imminent Crisis

Platinum drilling

Six weeks ago I wrote about a possible coming crisis for the platinum sector. With mineworkers unions in top producer South Africa tabling demands for substantial wage increases from cash-strapped mining firms.

And this week, the fireworks began in this brewing battle.

On Monday, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said it has formally filed disputes against South Africa’s three largest platinum miners. Taking the firms to task over their failure to comply with the requested wage increases.

This declaration now triggers an internal dispute resolution process. With the union saying it plans to meet Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum this week — with major producer Lonmin to follow.

These discussions are expected to last four weeks. After which the union can officially refer the dispute to South Africa’s Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to be settled externally.

If the wage dispute does indeed go to formal arbitration, it would be a major escalation in this critical matter. Raising the possibility that the Commission could decide in the union’s favour — and saddle mining companies with increased labor costs.

For their part, miners say they simply can’t afford higher wages. Especially with lower platinum prices and rising capital costs at South Africa’s mines pinching profits.

Whatever the decision here, there is going to be major friction. A positive outcome for workers would mean less cash for project investment, while a decision in favour of the mining companies is likely to cause strife with the unions. Perhaps leading to strike action.

This all comes as more and more alarm bells are sounding across South Africa’s platinum industry. Just this week, Anglo American’s Mogalakwena mine was completely shut down by protests from the local community.

On the same day that Impala Platinum CEO Terence Goodlace told his company’s investors that South African platinum production is “going to drop off a cliff” due to under-investment.

Watch for news on the negotiations between the Amcu and miners throughout September. And for a possible arbitration request toward the end of the month, which could signal big issues looming.

Here’s to the tension.

By Dave Forest

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News