Platinum Strike Continues in South Africa; US Palladium Bar Rises 2.6%

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It’s not over yet. “South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said on Tuesday it had revised its wage demands to the world’s top platinum producers, in its first major concession as a sector-wide strike rumbles into its sixth week,” reports Reuters.

“The two sides remain far apart on the issue of wages, however, and AMCU plans a march in Pretoria on Thursday to protest what it says is government bias in favour of the mining companies, suggesting its members still plan to be off work then.”

“AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa told a media briefing that the union was now seeking staggered increases that would take the entry wage to 12,500 rand ($1,200) a month in three years’ time, compared to an original demand for this increase to be immediate.”

“The demand for 12,500 rand, under the populist battle cry of a “living wage”, is more than double current levels. The mining companies, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin, have offered increases of up to 9 percent, saying they cannot afford steep wage hikes.”

In metal price news for precious metals…

On Tuesday, March 4, US palladium bar jumped up 2.6 percent, making it the day’s biggest increase. Chinese palladium bar prices rose 0.6 percent. The price of Japanese palladium bar remained steady.

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The price of US platinum bar finished the market day up 0.8 percent per ounce. The price of Japanese platinum bar declined 0.3 percent. After a couple of days of improving prices, the price of Chinese platinum bar held steady.

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After improving for two days, the price of US gold bullion declined 1.1 percent. After falling for two days, the price of Japanese gold bullion rose 0.6 percent. Chinese gold bullion prices inched up 0.5 percent. Indian gold bullion prices rose 0.1 percent.

The price of US silver closed. Following a couple days of improvement, the metal’s price weakened by 2.1 percent. Indian silver closed 1.8 percent lower. After a 0.3 percent increase, Japanese silver finished the day. Chinese silver gained 0.2 percent to finish.