S.Africa Mine Industry Job Plan Targets Platinum As C.Bank Reserve Asset
South Africa’s mining industry, unions and the government have committed to a broad plan to stem job losses, including boosting platinum by promoting the metal as a central bank reserve asset, according to a draft agreement seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
The parties also said they would strive to delay lay-offs, sell distressed mining assets instead of closing them, and look at ways of streamlining the legal process which employers must follow to cut jobs.
The mining industry, which contributes around 7 percent to Africa’s most developed economy, is struggling with sinking commodity prices, rising costs and labour unrest, forcing a number of companies into mine closures and layoffs.
The agreement is expected to be signed on Monday next week after its details were hammered out on Tuesday.
The draft agreement lays out 10 wide interventions including getting the BRICS group of emerging nations to hold “platinum as a reserve asset” – like gold – in their central banks. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa comprise the BRICS.
South Africa sits on close to 80 percent of the world’s known reserves of platinum, a metal used in emissions-capping catalytic converters which is facing depressed demand.