Violence Continues at Lonmin Miners’ Strike in South Africa, Palladium Rises

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Lonmin PLC, the world’s third-largest platinum mining company, said several hundred striking mine workers were blocking colleagues from returning to work as they press on with a more than four-month-old strike, the Wall Street Journal reported. Last week, several miners were hacked to death with machetes after they crossed picket lines. About 80,000 workers are on strike in South Africa, which accounts for about 80% of the world’s platinum supply and roughly a third of the world’s palladium, because the two metals are often found and mined together.

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Following a three-day flat streak, the price of Japanese palladium bar climbed by 2.1 percent to end at JPY 2,687 ($26.47) per gram on Friday, May 16. The price of US palladium bar hit $809.00 per ounce, reaching a 30-day high after a 1.9 percent jump. A 30-day high was reached by the price of Chinese palladium bar following a 1.6 percent increase, to finish at CNY 183.00 ($29.37) per gram.

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The price of US platinum bar changed direction with a 0.9 percent drop. After two days of improving prices, the metal finished at $1,463 per ounce. The price of Japanese platinum bar increased 0.7 percent to JPY 4,827 ($47.55) per gram. After a couple of days of improving prices, the price of Chinese platinum bar held steady at CNY 310.00 ($49.76).

The price of Indian gold bullion declined 1.9 percent to INR 27,495 ($462.68) per 10 grams. The price of US gold bullion fell 0.7 percent to $1,297 per ounce. Chinese gold bullion finished the day down 0.4 percent to CNY 260.10 ($41.75) per gram. Japanese gold bullion finished the day up 0.4 percent to JPY 4,264 ($42.01) per gram.

The price of US silver declined 1.4 percent to $19.46 per ounce, after two days of improvement. At JPY 644.00 ($6.34), the price of Japanese silver finished the market day up 0.8 percent per 10 grams. At CNY 4,150 ($666.10) per kilogram, Chinese silver fell 0.7 percent last Friday. The price of Indian silver flattened at INR 43,001 ($723.62) following two-days of declines.

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