Strike at Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung mine enters third week

A STRIKE at the Bakubung platinum group metal (PGM) mine operated by China’s Wesizwe Platinum has entered its third week without sign of resolution.

The company said on Thursday the mine would remain closed “until further notice” owing to safety concerns caused by the “unprotected strike”.

“Management is working tirelessly to resolve the matter and is engaging with relevant stakeholders, to find an amicable solution,” the company said. “BPM (Bakubung Platinum Mine) remains committed to addressing the concerns of the employees, while also safeguarding the interests of our valued shareholders,” it added.

The strike will further delay the progress of the Bakubung mine which has been struggling to commission its processing facilities this year. In May it said commissioning of the concentrator had been delayed owing to faults.

Then in June, it announced that during hot commissioning of the plant “several defects” were experienced including lube system failure, excess spillage on pulleys and trolleys and “challenges” with the hydraulic pump.

The Bakubung mine has been in development since the Nineties. According to previous company statements, the Bakubung mine will produce 420,000 ounces a year of platinum group metals and gold.

Wesizwe Platinum is 45% controlled by China Africa Jinchuan Limited.