South African Platinum Miners Return to Work, Platinum Up

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Tens of thousands of South African platinum miners returned to work on Wednesday after wage deals ended the longest and most damaging strike in the country’s history.

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The five-month strike hit 40 percent of global production of the precious metal and has cost Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum a combined 24 billion rand ($2.25 billion) in lost revenue.

Industry and union officials said miners were streaming back to work and Reuters reporters saw thousands trudging to Marikana before sunrise on a cold winter’s morning. Officials from the companies said it could take up to two months to ramp back up to full production.

At $1,464 per ounce, US platinum bar moved up 0.9 percent on Wednesday, June 25, the day’s biggest change. The price of Japanese platinum bar increased 0.6 percent to JPY 4,780 ($46.90) per gram. Chinese platinum bar saw its price rise 0.3 percent to CNY 311.00 ($49.91) per gram.

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US palladium bar finished the day up 0.9 percent to $826.00 per ounce. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Japanese palladium bar remained essentially flat at JPY 2,700 ($26.49) per gram. Chinese palladium bar stayed flat at around CNY 185.00 ($29.69) per gram.

The price of Indian gold bullion declined 0.4 percent to INR 27,764 ($461.20) per 10 grams. Chinese gold bullion prices saw a 0.3 percent decline to CNY 262.80 ($42.17) per gram. After a 0.2 percent increase, Japanese gold bullion finished the day at JPY 4,315 ($42.34) per gram. The price of US gold bullion held steady at $1,319 per ounce.

At $20.93, the price of US silver finished the market day up 0.1 percent per ounce. At CNY 4,310 ($691.64) per kilogram, Chinese silver fell 0.1 percent yesterday. Indian silver finished the day down 0.1 percent to INR 45,558 ($756.78) per kilogram. The price of Japanese silver remained essentially flat at JPY 660.00 ($6.48) per 10 grams.

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