INTERCEPTS Sat 23/08/2014

Aquarius raps unions, government

1st May 2012

JOHANNESBURG, May 1 – The South African government and labour unions have copped a serve from Aquarius Platinum chief Stuart Murray after the miner announced a 7% drop in platinum group metals production and a net loss of $9.4M for the March 2012 quarter.

Murray highlighted seasonal absenteeism even worse than usual, continuing Section 54 safety stoppages, labour go-slows and poor ground conditions – partly due to labour issues – for the fall in attributable production to 97,802oz 4E PGM.

He says the usual seasonal absenteeism following the Christmas and New Year holidays and poor labour performance were exacerbated by government-ordered Section 54 safety stoppages in Rustenburg operations.

Poor ground conditions at Everest were not helped by constant "go-slows" and the Mineral Resources Department’s failure to grant the mining right to the Hoogland openpit more than a year after the company lodged its application.

“It is my view that labour unions and the government need to start cooperating constructively with mining companies immediately if the very sustainability of the platinum industry and the thousands of jobs it provides is not to be threatened,” Murray said.



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