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World's third largest platinum producer may be hit by unrest in South Africa

Mining industry / Africa
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Civil unrest has hit mineral supply chains in South Africa.

World's third largest platinum producer may be hit by unrest in South Africa

Port, rail and road transport in South Africa has been disrupted by ongoing civil unrest and violence, and several force majeure notices have been issued affecting the transport of mined raw materials.

The riots followed the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma and the subsequent rejection of his release by the country's Supreme Court on July 9. Since then, protests have escalated into massive looting, violence and destruction, mainly in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

During the riots, at least 800 retail stores were looted, 2,500 people were arrested and more than 200 were killed in the clashes. In the eastern port of Durban, rebels attacked industrial areas, devastated warehouses and factories, and then set them on fire.

Impala Platinum (Implats), the world's third-largest platinum producer, said on July 14 that the riots have not had a significant impact on its operations to date.

At the same time, Implats Group Executive Director for Corporate Affairs, Johan Theron, said that the port infrastructure in Durban and the N3 road corridor, which connects Durban with the hinterland of South Africa, is critical to the supply of fuel and chemicals to the entire mining industry in South Africa.

Chika Edeh, head of investor relations at South African vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals, said that “the turmoil has not yet affected our operations or our supply chain.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has said it continues to monitor security in the energy and mining sectors and is in talks with all participants in the energy and mining sectors amid ongoing unrest.

By the most conservative estimates, the total damage to the South African economy already exceeds $ 350 million. President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country was facing the worst outbreak of violence in the history of the state.

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