The SA platinum industry missed a chance to fundamentally change the market’s supply and demand dynamics, which have kept the price low for a decade, when plans by Lonmin to shut or reduce processing capacity failed to materialise.

Lonmin was the biggest casualty of a decade of low prices for platinum, which made up 60% of its revenue; protracted labour stoppages; above-inflation wage and electricity price increases; ageing mines; and an inflexibility in matching production to market demand. It was also hamstrung by poor investment decisions by previous boards.

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