The best way for SA’s embattled platinum industry to save itself from prolonged difficulties is to switch focus to intensive marketing and spending on creating demand rather than trying to lower costs and mining more metal, says Anglo American Platinum CEO Chris Griffith. SA’s platinum sector, in which two-thirds of mines are marginal or unprofitable, has lost thousands of jobs in recent years, with Lonmin cutting 8,000 jobs since 2015 and considering up to 12,600 more, while Impala Platinum has spoken of cutting 13,000 jobs as it shuts old mines.

“Many of our peers still think of the business as a volume industry and getting costs down by producing more, and that volume will always be there rather than investing in creating demand,” Griffith says. “Frankly what you should do is cut back on other spending to invest in marketing to create a future for your metals. You cannot blindly expand into a market where there is no demand.” “We understand the business of investment becaus...

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