Platinum production suffers major decline in fourth quarter

Platinum production

The precious metal saw a downfall in the final months of the previous year. Platinum production has experienced a dramatic nosedive for the three months to December in 2016 as the world’s top producer of the commodity, South Africa, showed more warning signs that the future for its several critical mines may be dark.

Painful Strike

Lonmin, a major producer in the South Africa, gave a huge drawback to the already-depressed state of industry in the country as the firm announced last week that its platinum production in the final quarter on a year prior dropped sharply by a whopping 20% to 137 000 ounces.

This recent setback on the metal industry was mainly due to the strained relationship between the management and unions in the firm which pushed the workers to go on a strike that has now lasted for more than three months.

Workers have not been showing up in the company’s operation as absenteeism among employees have intensified, which vastly affected the company’s largest production shaft, K3.

These relationship woes between the firm and its miners stemmed labor problems including financial hardship that prompted Lonmin to slash its workforce on its major capital project because of shrinking cash flows.

With platinum production largely decreasing, the firm said it might cut 330 more jobs at its platinum operation in an attempt to improve efficiency and minimize costs but such continuous lay off may further trigger worker to carry out actions against the company.

The precious metal, meanwhile, showed impressive performance in Friday’s trading as it leaped 0.05% at $984.10 per ounce.


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