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Lonmin back to full production after strikes

The company returned to full production earlier than forecast after a crippling five-month wage strike.

FILE: Miners return to work at Lonmin's Rowland shaft in Marikana on 25 June 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum producer, said on Wednesday it had returned to full production earlier than forecast after a crippling five-month wage strike, exceeding 2013 output levels in both August and September.

Along with the rest of South Africa's platinum industry, Lonmin has battled persistent labour unrest, along with low prices and rising costs. But this year's strike, which ended in June, was the longest and priciest, costing Lonmin 5.6 million tonnes of ore, containing around 348,000 equivalent saleable platinum ounces.

Lonmin had not given a target date for a return to full production, but had been expected to recover by the year end.

In Wednesday's statement it did not give specific output details for the last two months, but said they had been above August and September 2013, when it mined one million tonnes and 1.04 million tonnes respectively.

"From August onwards, Lonmin has achieved steady-state production at normal levels," the company said, adding that employees had returned to work in greater numbers and faster than expected.

Lonmin will publish its fourth-quarter production report and final results on 10 November.