Anglo American Platinum

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Anglo American Platinum Limited (JSE: AMS) is the world's largest primary producer of platinum, accounting for about 38% of the world's annual supply.

Based in South Africa, most of the group's operations lie to the northwest and northeast of Johannesburg. A majority of the company's operations take place in the Bushveld Igneous Complex, a large region that contains a range of mineral commodities including chromium, vanadium, titaniferous magnetite and platinum group metals.

History[edit]

In 1995, the company Johannesburg Consolidated Investments unbundled. Its platinum interests became Amplats, later renamed Anglo American Platinum. Anglo American is the company's majority shareholder.

On 5 October 2012, Anglo American Platinum fired 12,967 striking South African miners.[1]

In July 2014, Amplats announced it would sell many of its South African mines following the negative effect of five months’ worth of strikes on the firm’s hopes of becoming profitable.[2]

Operations[edit]

The company's major facilities and production areas include:

  • Rustenburg production area
  • Amandelbult production area
  • Union production area
  • Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mines
  • Potgietersrus Platinum Mines
  • Lebowa Platinum Mines
  • Modikwa Platinum Mine
  • Kroondal Pooling and Shared Agreement
  • Polokwane Smelter
  • Waterval Smelter
  • Rustenburg base metals and precious metals refiners

Products[edit]

Anglo American Platinum's products includes:

Controversy[edit]

Anglo American Platinum filed SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) against a South African public interest lawyer Richard Spoor, who represented indigenous communities affected by platinum mining on tribal land. The actions include an application in the High Court for a so-called gagging order, ostensibly to prevent him further injuring the good name and reputation of the corporation, the lodging of complaints with the Law Society of unprofessional behaviour and the lodging of a civil action for damages for some $500,000. Anglo American Platinum also obtained an ex parte (without notice) order interdicting two tribal chiefs from interfering with their mining operations and had them arrested on charges of intimidation and trespass. Subsequently, followers of the two tribal chiefs were shot, beaten and arrested for protesting the mine's presence on tribal land.[3]

In August 2007, British charity War on Want published a report accusing Anglo American Platinum's parent company Anglo American of profiting from the abuse of people in the developing countries in which the company operates.[4] In the report, Anglo American Platinum is accused of displacing communities in South Africa, including forcing the entire Magobading community off its land and into the Mecklenberg township.

In late October, 2012, security forces - at the behest of the government - opened fire on mineworkers using live ammunition killing 34 striking Marikana platinum miners, and injuring many others. The miners had been striking since September,2012.

In late January 2014 thousands of employees belonging to Anglo American Platinum and other platinum mines went on strike, demanding a basic salary of R12,500 ($1,180). This is the same salary for which striking miners were shot and killed by the security forces in 2012. Most of the miners belonged to the miners' union 'AMCU' which South African politician and Commander in Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters had vowed to sponsor in order to allow the miners to continue striking. The platinum miners were mainly based in Marikana, the town in which Malema jump started his political party and gained popularity with most of the miners.

It is estimated that the miners lost a minimum R10 billion in salaries due to their strike which lasted more than five months. Striking miners attacked other miners that were 'caught' going to work, accusing them of "betraying the revolution".

The strike, the longest in the history of South Africa, ended in late June 2014 when the mineworkers union signed a 3 year settlement deal with Anglo American Platinum and the other mine owners which saw the lowest paid workers, whose basic salary was less than R12,500, increased by R1,000 ($95) a month for two years, and by R950 per month in the third year. The agreement also ensured no platinum worker would earn less than R8,000 as a basic salary.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amplats fires 12,000 South African platinum miners". BBC. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Amplats to sell strike-hit South African mines, International: Reuters, 2014 
  3. ^ Independent Newspapers Online (5 May 2010). "Business – IOL | Breaking News | South Africa News | World News | Sport | Business | Entertainment | IOL.co.za". Busrep.co.za. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Anglo American: The Alternative Report". Waronwant.org. 27 May 2011. Archived from the original on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Platinum mine workers in South Africa return to work". Africa Leader. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 

External links[edit]