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Labor strife, safety concerns push South Africa platinum mechanization
Labor strife, safety concerns push South Africa platinum mechanization

RUSTENBURG South Africa (Reuters) - For decades, production in South Africa's platinum mines has rested on the muscular shoulders of men risking life and limb to drill into the rock face with jackhammers. Three years of labor upheaval and a political push to make the shafts safer and transform the low-wage workforce have set in motion a drive to replace such rock drillers with machines. "Labor militancy is dictating our push to mechanization and boardrooms will rubber stamp this stuff," said Peter Major, a fund manager at Cadiz Corporate Solutions. The costly change is happening despite the obstacles thrown by geology, low platinum prices and capital constraints. At...

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