Once a bright and rising star of the precious metals industry, platinum is down and out. And the three mining houses that ruled platinum-rich Rustenburg when the price peaked at more than $1,800 an ounce in 2011 look very different today. A recent sign of this was the announcement from Impala Platinum last Thursday that it would have to lay off 13,000 workers as it shuts down five of its 11 Rustenburg mines over the next two years. Distressed Lonmin has only just avoided closing its doors by selling off operations to Sibanye-Stillwater. Even so, it is cutting jobs and shutting old shafts in a restructuring aimed at shoring up the balance sheet to ensure that the acquisition goes through. Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), on the other hand, stands out from its peers. In its 2018 interim results, the company announced a record performance from its Mogalakwena mine in Limpopo, which was up 19% in the first half of the year. Amplats generated free cash flow of R1.3bn and announced an i...

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