No they are being fed and judging from the pictures I have seen - quite well. The strikers all look healthy and well clothed and energized. They are marching, dancing, singing, etc. Contrary to what the mining companies are putting out , they are holding out surprisingly well. They are not walking skeltons on their last legs. This is espcially amazing in that SA corn reserves hit a low of only 23 days in January and other food stock was down a lot too with the drought they have had. Other unions are sending money and food - the Solidarity Union just sent a lot more to the strikers. Solidarity if I recall correctly, is mainly a white union.
As to violence, no I certainly don't want it and amazingly this strike has been generally free of it thank goodness even with JuJU and radicals whipping up the strikers.
Right you are bell. I bet they could turn those mines around quickly if the SA govt would ever let them in.
There was something about how ten million South Afrians do not have latrines and the Chinese or someone was talking about sending in a couple of Divisons of People's Workers Brigades to dig them awhile back. The thinking was they could dig them and solve this problem in a year or so that the SA govt has not been able to accomplish in 20 years!
CNBC finally has started to put out some good coverage about what this Ukraine business can do not only for gold but pt/pd as well. SEE BELOW.
"The ongoing conflict in Ukraine could have a massively bullish impact on gold prices, according to one of Wall Street's foremost gold experts.
"One of the largest suppliers of gold, and of course platinum, is Russia," said George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC Capital Markets. "And if they're going to be involved in sanctions, and more problems with Ukraine, and deliveries are curtailed—and there is already a problem in South Africa between the miners of platinum, palladium and the mining companies—all of that could somehow explode on the upside and curtail deliveries, meaning higher prices."
A lot of options and contracts will have be settled Friday. I look for shorties to get scared, and rightfully so, and close out major positions. This should start metals, especially pt/pd, moving up nicely - hopefully and finally!
As I predicted, these three days of talks went nowhere with union reps even more upset at the latest from the pt/pd mining companies. See below.
Platinum Producers to Put Pay Offer Directly to Strikers
By Paul Burkhardt Apr 24, 2014 2:00 PM CT
The world’s largest platinum companies said they will put their latest pay offer directly to striking South African workers, bypassing their union after talks to end the 13-week walkout failed to win a breakthrough.
The big miners have invoked Force majeure clauses with their suppliers that allow them to get out of their contracts and financial obligations. Many of these companies are smaller and have / are going belly up. South African banks are really feeling the heat as their loans in turn go bad and it all is now threatening the whole of South Africa's financial structure.
Many of these suppliers use white technical people and a lot of imported expertise. Couple this with not getting paid and the rising racial / class war rhetoric by the radicals and the worsening crime situation - they are leaving in droves - WHITE FLIGHT.
What is amazing is that 20 years into a black government so few blacks are in any technical/professional positions as Julius Malema has repeatedly pointed out. Example: 97%, yes 97%, of South African pilots are still white. And it the mining industry, it is not as high, but the bulk of technical and managerial positions that are held by whites (native and imported) is something around 75%.
If a ot of them flee, who is going to re-start and run complicated mines? The Chinese, I think not. They are I think even more unpopular there than the whites.
Thanks bigsee, obviously better put and more authoritative than my posts. But I think we are in the same fundamental camp.
The American media is really down playing and manipulating the coverage of the raging war in Eastern Europe; let alone totally ignoring the South African situation.
And first of all, I have the deepest sympathy for the victims of the Malaysian air crash and the Korean ferry. But lets face it those are localized events with no impact on the world economy and political situation. And yet the cable media devotes endless time to speculating and re-runing tapes in an obvious attempt to detrack the serious of the situation in Europe.
I am not the only one who sees parellels with WWI and Hitler - now Gingrich himself does. See below.
MY TAKE - Tougher sanctions on Russia very soon and banking and precious metals sales will be high on the list!
"(CNN) -- This year is the centennial of the First World War. One-hundred years ago this month, in April 1914, no one thought there would be a war. But war began, triggered by events in Eastern Europe, by the end of July. It came as an enormous shock, in retrospect almost like the Titanic hitting an iceberg.
In the end, it shattered Europe, cost tens of millions of lives, bankrupted countries and changed forever those who survived the horrors.
A century later, our focus is again on Eastern Europe, the site of a regional conflict that threatens to entangle the world's leading powers.
The situation in Ukraine is a perilous one, much more so than our current debate acknowledges.
From the Business Report 04/24/14:
"Overall, the strike, which started exactly 13 weeks ago, has hit about 40 percent of global production with over 700 000 ounces lost and counting.
Even if the strike were to end next week, production losses will still mount as the mines slowly reboot.
“Based on the extent of direct losses from strike action to-date, and adding in an allowance for lower production as a result of safe-start procedures, re-hiring, re-training and ramp-ups, I expect losses to platinum production this year to be in the order or 900 000 to 1 million ounces,” said William Tankard, metals analyst at Thomson Reuters GFMS.
Ok, here is my SIMPLE take on the pt/pd situation. I am going to round and ball park a lot here for simplicity sake;s
1.) Let;s take those Johnson and Mathey studies over the years at face value.
2.) Thus South Africa and Russia produce alone produce about 80% of the world;s pt/pd production.
3.) Let us assume the other 20 % from the US, Canada, and Zim will be taken up by increased auto demand and jewelry.
4.) So that leaves us with SA and Russia producing the world's main supplies.
5.) Russia's production is tied to Nickel and they have not been going gang busters but let us assume their production has not fallen but is constant.
6.) South African, really after the strike settles and they have electricity water woes, is bound to be off 50% for the year when all is said and done. This is probably conservative in that pt/pd prices now are and will be below their cost of production and they may not bring all the mines back to capacity for this reason alone if they could be.
7.) So that leaves us with a worldwide shortfall of 25% of needed production,
8.) If Johnson and Mathey statements about all the pt/pd above ground (refined) would only last the world a year, that means supply reserves will have to be heavily drawn into to meet demand with prices rising greatly. This assumes of course no massive Russian dumping of their "secret" stockpiles from the Soviet Era.
9.) Thus prices should be rising 25% in the very near future to about $1,000 per ounce for palladium and near $1,800 for platinum.
10) South Africa is high cost low efficiency producer and numebrs often sited for them to break-even are $1,000 an ounce for pd and $2,000 an ounce for platinum.
11.) Therefore prices should be moving up dramatically - I would think!
We should have had hyper-inflation by now the way the US govt runs massive and accumulating deficits - yet ziltch. I think the main reason is that we export it to China where they pay people pennies and have bought a TRILLION dollars of our bonds and other securities. That is the difference, the global economy.
Will pay a dividend soon, has a working profitable pt/pd mine in safe NA near major auto producers,etc. Will go to 20 sooner than later!
No, still have the bulk in SWC but I would have thought SWC would have been up near 20 by now with so much news that should have favoured it. Obviously, with 40% of the worlds production off line for so many months, pt/pd should not being flat or going down. I think all these Johnson and Mathey studies over the years about it being 30 times scarer than gold and all the stockpiles above ground only feeding demand for a year are all bunk - or the pt/pd markets are really rigged. May be both.
The "BIG" strike in South Africa won't be settled as long as the mining companies are not feeling any pain and actually saving money in that pt/pd prices are below or near what their costs are. With electrical and water shortages recently anyway, if they had all their strikers on the payroll it would have cost them dearly. Look for this strike to go on.
From Mining Web: "Anglo American’s (LON:AAL) shares rose 3% Thursday after the diversified miner reported significant production increase across all of its divisions in the first quarter except for its platinum output, which fell by nearly 40%."