Department of Mineral Resources and Stakeholders through Mining Industry Growth and Development Task Team craft interventions to assist South Africa’s Platinum Sector
1 Aug 2012
Mineral Resources Minister, Ms Susan Shabangu on 30 July convened a meeting with Principals of the Mining Industry Growth and Development Task Team (MIGDETT) including the Chief Executives of the Platinum Group metals (PGMs) mining companies, this was a follow up to the 18 June 2012 meeting with South African platinum producers wherein challenges facing the sector were discussed.
The meeting was convened to consider a report from the MIGDETT Platinum Task Team (PTT) which had been established to consider the challenges facing the PGM mining sector. The PTT is a tripartite forum that includes government, led by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), organised labour in the mining sector (National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and United Association of South Africa (UASA) and business (Chamber of Mines, South African Mineral Development Association (SAMDA), and executive leadership of PGM mining companies).
Challenges identified broadly by the PTT are: the supply and demand imbalance that has resulted in surplus platinum on the market further exacerbated by the increased availability of scrap and recycled metal, the low price of PGMs, the substitution of platinum by palladium and finally the declining competitiveness of the PGM mining sector.
As a starting point parties to the PTT have agreed that all measures to support the industry will be explored before retrenchments. The Parties have also committed through this process to limit the number of jobs to be lost, in the short term, and to lay the basis for sustainable growth, competitiveness and labour absorption in the long term. Adherence to the law that governs retrenchments for economic and operational reasons have been recognised as non-negotiable, and further mechanisms to support the agreed aims were explored.
In this regard, the PTT has identified interventions that could assist the sector in the short term and position it along a sustainable growth trajectory in the medium to long term.
The short to medium term interventions being developed and interrogated further for implementation include:
- Commitment to working together to explore mechanisms of cost reduction; in the short term, for the purpose of improving the viability of the industry and protecting jobs.
- Commitment to exploring other applications and demand drivers of platinum.
- Commitment to not compromising safety and health standards in efforts to reduce costs.
- Commitment to supporting increased domestic downstream value addition to PGMs as a means of generating demand for platinum while supporting the objectives of the national beneficiation strategy.
In the long term the parties have further committed to a programme that will investigate strategies for sustainable growth in the PGM industry to support growth and job creation through competitiveness interventions, skills development, increased levels of PGM beneficiation and the diversification of PGM applications and demand drivers.
The stakeholders reiterate their support for further constructive engagement on challenges facing the South African PGM industry.
Cell: 082 766 3940
Cell: 082 803 6719
Chamber of Mines:
Cell: 082 465 5758
Cell: 082 5611 118
Frik Van Straten
Cell: 082 463 5705
Cell: 083 899 8992
Issued by: Department of Mineral Resources
1 Aug 2012
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