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10 DESEMBER 2010

NUUS

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85 percent of workforce dismissed Platinum Australia said on Tuesday that its mining contractor, JIC Mining had dismissed 85 percent of its workforce at the Smokey Hills mine near Burgersfort. JIC employees had been engaging in an unprotected industrial action at the Smokey Hills platinum project. JIC obtained an interdict requiring employees to return to work, however, a number of employees refused, necessitating the dismissals, according to Platinum Australia. The mining contractor had started the process of re-employing some of the workforce, but it was anticipated that a significant number would not be reemployed. Limited underground mining has continued during the industrial action, and Platinum Australia said that underground production would ramp-up to previous levels over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the processing plant has remained unaffected by the industrial Photograph: Platinum Australia website

action and continued to treat chrome tailings over the last week. In November, over 31 000 t of chrome tailings were treated at a grade of around 6 g/t platinum group metals. It was anticipated that between 25 000 t and 30 000 t of chrome tailings would be treated in December, along with a further 25 000 t to 30 000 t of underground ore. Platinum Australia said the industrial action was not expected to have a material impact on the production or financial performance of the Smokey Hills operation. Underground ore treatment and chrome tailings treatment would continue on a batch basis through the plant during the March quarter, which should ensure that the plant operated at close to, or at design capacity. Production at Smokey Hills was recently also interrupted when the previous mining contractor Redpath Mining ran into difficulties and was replaced with JIC Mining by Platinum Australia.

Platinum Gazette 10 December 2010  

Local newspaper for Burgersfort, Steelpoort, Ohrigstad, Jane Furse and surrounding villages in Limpopo Province South Africa.