Striking Platinum Miners Make New Offer to Lonmin, Impala and Anglo American

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There is a ray of hope that the now five-plus-month-old South African platinum miners strike might soon end.

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The Wall Street Journal reported that South Africa’s Mining Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi presented a new proposal on behalf of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union to Anglo American Platinum Ltd. , Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Lonmin PLC. The ministry declined to provide details on the proposal submitted by AMCU, which has spearheaded the strike by 70,000 platinum mine workers since the end of January, bringing the country’s production of the precious metal to a near standstill.

The AMCU has demanded higher wages for its members. An earlier wage offer by the platinum producers was rejected by the union, two people familiar with the negotiations told the WSJ. The world’s three-biggest platinum producers have lost more than $2 billion in combined revenue as a result of the strike, but prices of platinum and palladium have stayed surprisingly steady as industrial users of the metal built up stockpiles last year in anticipation of the strike.

Chinese platinum bar saw a 1.6 percent drop on Tuesday, June 3, landing at CNY 307.00 ($49.14) per gram and making it the biggest mover of the day. Japanese platinum bar closed 0.2 percent lower at JPY 4,731 ($46.18) per gram. US platinum bar saw little change in its price on Tuesday at $1,431 per ounce.

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US palladium bar fell 0.4 percent in price to $828.00 per ounce. This marks the fifth day in a row of declining prices and the drop-off has accelerated since Wednesday, May 28. At JPY 2,730 ($26.65) per gram, the price of Japanese palladium bar was essentially unchanged. Chinese palladium bar held its value on Tuesday at CNY 189.00 ($30.25) per gram.

After falling for two days, the price of Japanese gold bullion rose 1.0 percent to JPY 4,120 ($40.22) per gram. Chinese gold bullion finished the day down 0.9 percent to CNY 250.40 ($40.08) per gram. The price of Indian gold bullion rose 0.2 percent to INR 25,567 ($432.09) per 10 grams after a two-day drop. The price of US gold bullion declined 0.2 percent to $1,244 per ounce.

The price of Chinese silver closed Tuesday at CNY 4,115 ($658.62) per kilogram, halting its two-day flat run with a 1.1 percent decline. Following a 0.8 percent rise on Tuesday, the price of Japanese silver closed at JPY 617.00 ($6.02) per 10 grams. The price of US silver fell 0.2 percent to $18.76 per ounce. At INR 40,590 ($685.99), the price of Indian silver finished the market day up 0.1 percent per kilogram.

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