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South African platinum strike talks fail, mediator quits

  • Wage talks between South Africa's AMCU union and major platinum producers end in failure, with the mining minister quitting his mediation role and dashing hopes for an end to the five-month strike.
  • AMCU has led the strike of more than 70K mineworkers since Jan. 23, asking for monthly wages of the lowest paid underground employees to be more than doubled to 12.5K rand ($1,174) by 2017; the companies offered increases of as much as 10%.
  • The world's three top platinum producers - Anglo American Platinum (AAUKF, AAUKY), Impala Platinum (IMPUY) and Lonmin (LNMIF) - say they have forfeited earnings of 22B rand and employees have lost 9.6B rand in wages since the strike began.
  • The news lifted platinum prices higher by ~$15, or 1%, from a session low of $1,436/oz.
  • ETFs: PPLT, PTM, PGM.
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