Lonmin PLC to Shed 21% of its Workforce, Blames Platinum Strike

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Platinum producer Lonmin PLC  aims to cut about 5,700 jobs, 21% of its South African workforce, as part of a drive to increase profits after a five-month miners’ wage strike this year. The plan would see the closure of four to six of the company’s 11 shafts, two mining industry sources, one in London and the other in Johannesburg, told Reuters.

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The company, the world’s third-largest producer of the precious metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters, said in June that the strike and low prices meant restructuring of the business had become inevitable, according to Reuters.

A key reason for the restructuring is said to be the wage settlement reached in June with AMCU to end the strike, which will see its members get pay increases of up to about 20% a year for the next three years.

Strengthening prices ended a three-day flat streak as the price of Japanese palladium bar moved up by 2.8 percent on Tuesday, August 26 to JPY 2,982 ($28.65) per gram. At $888.00, the price of US palladium bar finished the market day up 1.4 percent per ounce. Chinese palladium bar saw its price rise 0.5 percent to CNY 193.00 ($31.36) per gram.

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The price of Chinese platinum bar closed Tuesday at CNY 298.00 ($48.42) per gram, halting its two-day flat run with a 0.3 percent decline. US platinum bar ended the day at $1,412 per ounce, after the 0.1 percent drop yesterday. Japanese platinum bar prices inched up 0.1 percent to JPY 4,753 ($45.67) per gram.

Following a two-day drop, the price of Indian gold bullion increased by 1.0 percent to INR 27,890 ($460.77) per 10 grams. After two flat days, the price of Japanese gold bullion inched up 0.2 percent on Tuesday to JPY 4,279 ($41.11). US gold bullion closed 0.1 percent lower at $1,276 per ounce. Chinese gold bullion stayed flat at around CNY 253.70 ($41.22) per gram.

After a few days of little change, the price of Japanese silver jumped 2.2 percent, landing at JPY 650.00 ($6.25) per 10 grams. Indian silver finished the day up 1.8 percent to INR 42,741 ($706.12) per kilogram. Chinese silver gained 0.2 percent to finish at CNY 4,195 ($681.60) per kilogram. US silver ended the day at $19.34 per ounce, after the 0.1 percent drop on Tuesday.

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