Implats resolves illegal strike at BRPM

IMPALA Platinum (Implats) said on Wednesday an illegal stoppage at the North shaft of its Impala Bafokeng BRPM operation had been resolved after a week of downtime.

“Employee attendance at the shaft is at normal levels,” the platinum group metal miner said in a statement. It said this week the illegal strike, which starting on June 27, started after contractors on the mine demanded permanent positions.

“Following constructive engagement between the management team and employee representatives, the issues were resolved. As a result, normal attendance levels were recorded at North Shaft from the morning shift today,” the company said.

“To safeguard the health, safety and security of our employees, those responsible for instigating the illegal strike action were interdicted from participating or engaging in any acts of violence, intimidation and harassment,” it added.

Implats said it continued to “engage with its employees and other key stakeholders to ensure safe and uninterrupted production is prioritised”.

This was the second incident of illegal industrial unrest at Impala Bafokeng after an “illegal underground protest” took place in December which was caused by “misinterpretations and misunderstandings brought to the fore by the recent change in ownership at Impala Bafokeng”.

Implats bought Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) for R150 a share last year, seeing off a higher offer from Northam Platinum.

In January 2022, when the offer became mandatory, rhodium was trading at about $19,500 an ounce. Since then, PGM prices have deteriorated heavily. Rhodium is now worth about $4,625 an ounce, according to Johnson Matthey.