Amplats To Sell Mines After S.Africa’s Platinum Strike Hurts Profit

Amplats To Sell Mines After S.Africa’s Platinum Strike Hurts Profit

Written by Andre Janse van Vuuren | From Bloomberg

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS), the world’s largest producer of the metal, said it will seek buyers for some mines after first-half profit dropped 88 percent because a five-month strike in South Africa disrupted mining.

Amplats, as the Johannesburg-based unit of Anglo American Plc (AAL) is known, is putting four mines and possibly two joint ventures up for sale, it said in a statement today. It will retain the Mogalakwena open-cast mine, the company’s largest, three other operations and four stakes in joint ventures.

Amplats has had “a number of suitors” for the assets, Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith said on a conference call. “We are in the early stages of the process, so there’s no specific timeline to completion at present,” he said. “We are already in consultation with government.”

The strike by more than 70,000 miners at Amplats, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Lonmin Plc (LMI) cost the companies 23.9 billion rand ($2.2 billion) in revenue and workers 10.6 billion rand in wages by the time it ended of June 24. The stoppage pushed South Africa’s economy into a first-quarter contraction as mining output plunged in the country that accounts for more than two-thirds of the platinum extracted globally.

Amplats said in January 2013 it planned to sell the Union mine and concentrators, north of Rustenburg. The company has yet to find a buyer for those assets.

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