July 19, 2011 / 12:32 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 3-Eastplats reports lower Q2 output at S. Africa mine

* Q2 production at Crocodile River mine down 33 pct on labour disruptions

* Sees full-year PGM production of about 105,000 ounces

* Shares fall 2 percent on TSX (Adds details in paragraphs 9-10, updates share movement)

July 19 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Eastern Platinum reported lower second-quarter production at its flagship Crocodile River mine in South Africa due to labour disruptions.

For the April-June quarter, production fell by a third to 20,528 ounces, from a year ago.

Shares of the company fell 2 percent to 93 Canadian cents on Tuesday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company had been forced to suspend work at two mines in its Crocodile River project after they were damaged by union workers over wage disputes.

Operations were resumed in May after Eastern Platinum reached a two-year wage agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers.

The company expects full-year platinum group metals production of about 105,000 ounces. In 2010, PGM ounces sold was 131,901 ounces.

Eastern Platinum operates the Crocodile River mine on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex. It has assets on both the western and eastern limbs of the Bushveld Complex, which holds about 80 percent of the world’s platinum supply, according to its website.

Concentrator recovery was also affected by the labour issue, the company said in a statement.

Strikes threaten not only South Africa’s platinum and coal sectors, but also the gold miners in the country.

South Africa’s powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) recently said wage talks with the country’s main gold miners — AngloGold Ashanti , Gold Fields and Harmony — had deadlocked and it was preparing for a strike.

For a FACTBOX on S.African wage talks in mining sector:

Earlier, Eastplats had said it would lose output of about 7,000 ounces of PGM in the second quarter due to disruptions related to labor issues.

The Zandfontein and Maroelabult mines, which produce platinum, palladium and rhodium, are Eastplat’s only two operating mines at the Crocodile River project.

Eastern Platinum shares rose 3 percent at 6.75 rand in Johannesburg. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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