Gold Next? ‘Unviable’ Anglo American Platinum Mine Closed

June 11, 2012 at 10:53

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Partners in the Marikana mine “have agreed in principle to place the … operations on care and maintenance, due to the enduring low platinum group metals basket price environment”, Aquarius Platinum said on its website.

“Trading conditions in the platinum industry are expected to remain difficult in the short- to medium-term and these conditions have rendered the operations at the [mine] uneconomic.”

Aquarius owns 50pc of the venture in northwestern town Rustenburg.
The company did not say how many jobs would be affected, estimated at 1,500 by Business Day newspaper.

The announcement follows a decision by another mining group, Eastern Platinum, to halt a new platinum project at Steelpoort in the north of the country, for similar reasons, the newspaper said.

South Africa has around 87pc of the world’s platinum resources and is the largest producer of the metal, mostly used in vehicle catalytic converters to cut pollution.