Minerals Council calls for platinum rescue plan

Rover Baxter, chief executive of the Minerals Council.

The Minerals Council of South Africa has called for drastic and immediate action from government to save 89 964 jobs in the platinum sector as it battles to cope with crippling strikes, declining demand, growth in the metals recycling industry, and the rising cost of electricity.

Chief executive for the council, Roger Baxter, sketched a dismal picture of impending job losses on a massive scale if “bold action” isn’t taken to protect platinum production, a long-suffering sector that employs the most miners and related personnel in the country.

He stressed that platinum provided direct work for some 168 000 people and unless the industry was guarded from ongoing fallout brought on by various challenges facing the platinum industry, more than half the sector’s work force would soon find themselves unemployed.

Baxter added that a major contributor to platinum’s woeful position was the metal’s dollar price that has been in decline since 2011.

Back then the dollar-per-ounce price stood at $1 800, compared to platinum’s spot price of $902.17 this morning.

He stressed that it was high time that platinum was made a reserve asset supported by future-securing strategies to secure the viability of platinum mining.

One way of accomplishing this, Baxter recommended, would be to draw up a national strategy to drive investment demand through developing markets for the manufacturing of jewellery and fuel cells.



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