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Open-File Report 2012–1273

Recent Strikes in South Africa’s Platinum-Group Metal Mines—Effects Upon World Platinum-Group Metal Supplies

By Thomas R. Yager, Yadira Soto-Viruet, and James J. Barry

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.59 MB)Abstract

The recent labor disputes over wages and working conditions that have affected South Africa’s three leading platinum-group metal (PGM) producers have affected an industry already plagued by market pressures and labor unrest and raised the specter of constraints in the world’s supply of these metals. Although low demand for these metals in 2011 and 2012 helped to offset production losses of recent years, and particularly those losses caused by the strikes in 2012, a prolonged resumption of strikes could cause severe shortages of iridium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, and, to a lesser extent, palladium.

Revised September 6, 2013

First posted December 21, 2012

For additional information contact:
Thomas Yager


National Minerals Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey,
991 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Yager, T.R., Soto-Viruet, Yadira, and Barry, J.J., 2012, Recent strikes in South Africa’s platinum-group metal mines—Effects upon world platinum-group metal supplies (ver. 1.1, September 2013): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1273, 18 p.,


South African Platinum-Group Metal Producers

Underlying Problems in the Platinum-Group Metal Industry

The 2012 Strikes

Implications for Global Markets


References Cited

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