Implats says 5,000 workers on strike

[] — IMPALA Platinum, the world’s second largest platinum producer, said on Monday that 5,000 workers at its Rustenburg operations had downed tools on Friday over wages but a court order had declared the strike involving drill operators illegal.

“The company will follow due legal process with all employees who do not report for duty on Tuesday,” Implats said in a statement.

“We estimate we will lose in the order of 3,000 ounces of platinum per day due to this work stoppage,” spokeswoman Alice Lourens said. Implats produces around 1.7 million ounces a year and accounts for 25% of global platinum production.

Last year, Implats sealed a 2-year wage deal with the National Union of Mineworkers and it was not immediately clear which union the striking workers were affiliated with.

On Sunday state media reported that workers at Zimplats’ , the Zimbabwe unit of Implats, had gone on strike to force the company to pay their personal electricity bills.

Implats shares were down 1.24%, the sixth-biggest decliners on the Johannesburg bourse’s Top 40 benchmark index .