Amplats says reviewing Rustenburg assets

Johannesburg - Anglo American Platinum [JSE:AMS] said on Monday it was reviewing options for its Rustenburg operations, which were hit by a crippling five-month strike that ended last week.

Spokesperson Mpumi Sithole told Reuters: "We expect to provide further details at the interims on 21 July."

Amplats' parent Anglo American [JSE:AGL] has signalled its intention to possibly dispose of some of its aging platinum assets in South Africa and Britain's Sunday Times reported it had put some of them up for sale in a move by Chief Executive Mark Cutifani to dispose of underperforming assets.

Anglo American has lined up South African investment bank RMB to run the auction, the newspaper said.

The Sunday Times said the disposal programme was agreed by the board at a strategy meeting this month and could raise up to $4bn.

Other assets up for sale include its nickel business and copper mines in Chile, it said.

Amplats CEO Chris Griffith estimated that the world No. 1 platinum producer would end up losing R11bn due to the strike.

He told Talk Radio 702 shortly after the strike ended that it would take the company about two weeks to resume significant output after the five-month work stoppage.

Amplats, along with rivals Lonmin [JSE:LON] and Impala Platinum (Implats) [JSE:IMP] signed wage deals with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) last Tuesday, which brought an end to the longest and costiliest labour strike in South African history.

The five-month strike hit 40% of global production of the precious metal and has cost the three platinum giants a combined R24bn in lost revenue.

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