Imminent strike just the latest in South Africa's labor troubles

|By:, SA News Editor

As a mining strike looms, new Anglo American (AAUKY.PK, AAUKF.PK) CEO Mark Cutifani tells WSJ ~50% of South Africa's gold and platinum operations are operating at a loss and "you will see shafts in platinum and gold close if the wage hike goes badly.”

Some miners already have begun to sell their South African assets and redirect spending elsewhere; Gold Fields (GFI) last year sold all but one gold mine in the country, and Harmony Gold (HMY) is directing more of its exploration money to Papua New Guinea than to South Africa.

More labor tension: Anglo American Platinum (AGPPY.PK, AGPPF.PK) will fire 3,300 workers at its South African mines to revive profitability; ~45% of Amplats' business is in South Africa.