5 February 2014

South Africa: Mining Indaba 2014 - Brave Faces in Uncertain Times


Any way you look at it, this isn't the brightest or most beautiful time for South African mining - if there's ever been one. Strikes in the platinum sector are costing the industry an estimated R197 million per day.

On Tuesday, as all the major players in African mining gathered at Cape Town's swish Convention Centre for the annual Mining Indaba, SAPS had to disperse 3,000 "violent protestors" at an Amplats shaft. But the industry was putting on a bullish face - despite some nostalgic references to the "good old days". By REBECCA DAVIS.

Given the fact that AMCU members have been on strike since 23 January, it was unsurprising that Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu had to devote a good portion of her opening address to the Mining Indaba, and a subsequent press conference, to allaying investor jitters about the state of labour relations in South African mining.

She preceded this nonetheless with a swipe at the media for blowing the issue out of proportion: "When we look at the current headlines, they tend to focus exclusively on such issues as labour instability," Shabangu said, though given the scale of the current strike, and its financial impact, it's hard ...

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