PRESSURE OVER JOB CUTS
Platinum price muted as firms uphold output to retain jobs
More players in SA’s platinum industry have prevented a rebalancing of the global market, according to a new report
The platinum price is likely to remain subdued until there is a reduction of primary supply from SA, the world’s largest source of the metal, but given the reluctance of the government and unions to agree to cutting jobs entailed in stopping unprofitable shafts, this has kept production relatively high. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Monday that the concentration of ownership in the sector had diminished in time as Sibanye Gold bought the large Rustenburg mining complex from Anglo American Platinum as well as the whole of Aquarius. This had added a layer of complexity by quickly reducing the supply of the industrial and precious metal from SA. Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman has said repeatedly since February that the company would not produce unprofitable platinum and it could cut between 200,000oz and 300,000oz if it could not return a number of shafts to profitability before the end of 2017 as the new owner of the Rustenburg mines. Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said recently that 6...