Platinum Miners Their Own Worst Enemies: Joburg Mining Update – by Felix Njini and Paul Burkhardt(Bloomberg News – October 3, 2018)

South African mining executives, investors and officials gather in the nation’s economic hub for the Joburg Indaba conference, a week after Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe published the government’s new Mining Charter.

It’s been a tough couple of years for South African mining, from regulatory uncertainty and legal fights with the government, to thousands of job cuts announced across the industry. National gold production has declined for 10 straight months.

Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day. (Time-stamps are local time in Johannesburg.)

Platinum Mea Culpa (5 p.m.)

Platinum miners hurt themselves over the past decade by failing to notice and respond quickly enough to dwindling demand for the metal, according to the head of the world’s top producer.

“We were slow to recognize structural changes when platinum demand started falling and was being substituted,” said Anglo American Platinum Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith. “That was a mistake, we failed to stop supply from lossmaking mines, then we became our own worst enemies in the face of declining demand.”

The industry has since taken some necessary steps and is in better shape to provide returns to investors, he said. The sector would benefit from further consolidation, said Lonmin Plc CEO Ben Magara, whose company last year agreed to a takeover by Sibanye Gold Ltd.

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