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Business (223)

Minister quits deadlocked South African platinum strike talks

Wage talks between South Africa's AMCU union and major platinum producers were deadlocked on Monday, prompting the mining minister to abandon his mediation role and dashing hopes for an end to a strike that is pushing the economy towards recession. The five-month strike has halted mines that normally account for 40 percent of global platinum output and has hit wider economic output in Africa's most advanced economy, driving it into contraction in the first quarter…
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Libya central bank says lost oil revenues cost Libya $30B

Libya has lost $30 billion due to 10 months of protests at oilfields and export terminals but has sufficient foreign currency reserves to keep the country running, a central bank official said. A wave of protests at oil facilities has reduced the North African country's oil output to less than 200,000 barrels a day down from 1.4 million bpd in July before the strikes started. The protests are part of wider turmoil in the North…
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Labour court threw out AMCU suit seeking to stop firms contact with miners

A South African labor court threw out an urgent application on Monday by the AMCU union to stop platinum firms communicating directly with miners, as both sides deliberated over government proposals to end a crippling five-month wage strike. Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin took their wage offers directly to strikers after talks with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to end the industrial action failed. AMCU objected to the move and…
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South African gold mine halts production after 2 deaths

A South African mine with one of the biggest known deposits of gold in the world has halted production after two employees died in underground accidents this month and the government ordered a stop on activities around the mine's workshops. A dump truck reversed over a contractor in one of the accidents at the South Deep mine, and another employee died when he was struck by part of a drill rig in a workshop, said…
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South Africa mines minister vows to break strike deadlock

South Africa's new mines minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said on Wednesday that the deadlock in the country's crippling 18-week platinum strike would soon be broken as movement has been made on both sides. Ramatlhodi appointed a government team on Wednesday to try and resolve the wage stoppage by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at the world's top platinum producers. The team will meet the companies and union on Thursday at an undisclosed location.…
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New South Africa mines minister pledges strike mediation

New South African mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi has pledged to mediate in a crippling platinum strike now in its fifth month and said the government needed to start treating the striking AMCU union with respect, local radio said on Tuesday. Ramatlhodi, who was sworn in on Monday evening, also told Power FM that mining companies had not done enough "to address the well-being of workers", particularly in relation to the squalid living conditions seen around…
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Financial crisis looms in Swaziland as reserves drop to $790,000

The Kingdom of Swaziland only has around $790,000 left in the bank, according to the central bank's latest estimate, as an economic slowdown in neighbouring South Africa hits home. The official reserves would cover only four months of vital imports, the central bank's Monetary Policy Consultative Committee said in its latest fiscal update on Monday. "The contraction in the level of reserves was mainly on account of payment of government's external obligations," a statement said.…
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Algeria parliament authorizes Shale gas exploitation

Algeria's Cabinet has announced it will move forward with the exploitation of the country's large shale gas reserves. The statement carried by the state news agency Wednesday night gave the green light to finding foreign partners to exploit the reserves. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Algeria is third globally after China and Argentina in technically recoverable shale gas reserves with 707 trillion cubic feet (20 trillion cubic meters) of…
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South Africa Lonmin fires 235 striking essential services workers

South African platinum miner Lonmin has dismissed 235 essential services workers who were on an unsanctioned strike and defied a court order to return to their jobs, it said on Tuesday. Lonmin said the workers in areas such as safety and underground maintenance were fired last week after starting a strike on January 23, when members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) also went on strike demanding higher wages. Under an agreement…
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Egypt and Israel to reach another gas deal

The owners of an Israeli gas field have reached an agreement to export trillions of cubic feet of natural gas through Egypt, a lucrative but politically sensitive deal which the Egyptian cabinet quickly denied would ever happen. Noble Energy, the largest owner of the Tamar field, signed a non-binding letter of intent with Union Fenosa on May 5, to ship up to 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas over 15 years, one-quarter of the field's…
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