Impala Platinum: Gathering strength for Amcu’s muscle

Business

Impala Platinum: Gathering strength for Amcu’s muscle

Unrealistic wage demands and protracted strike action by union could very well erode miner’s hard-won gains

Allan Seccombe

Impala Platinum shareholders (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=IMP) would understandably feel pangs of angst about pending wage talks with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) just as their company is showing signs of financial life after years of hardship.

The past five or six years of annual results show just how difficult a time it has been, with a total dividend of 95c last paid in 2013 – just as SA’s platinum sector was taken into a damaging five-month strike in the first half of 2014 that wrought havoc on Implats’s balance sheet. Net debt soared.

The company conducted bond issues and raised equity to keep key projects to build two new mines on track – while dealing with the fallout from the strike and low prices for its platinum group of metals...

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