Amplats CEO Paid Double Peer at Next-Largest Platinum Miner

Feb 13, 2014 11:00 am ET

(Updates with mediator’s comment in seventh paragraph.)

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the biggest platinum company, paid its Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith more than double his peer at the next-largest producer last year before a strike that crippled both companies’ output.

Griffith earned 17.6 million rand ($1.6 million) in salary, benefits, bonuses, shares and other pay, Amplats said in its annual report. Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. handed CEO Terence Goodlace 7.5 million rand in salary and benefits in fiscal 2013.

Amplats, Impala and Lonmin Plc, the third-largest producer, are struggling with a strike by a South African union seeking a more than doubling of basic monthly wages for the lowest-paid underground workers to 12,500 rand. The walkout is costing the industry about $18 million a day in lost revenue, according to the Chamber of Mines lobby. The stoppage began on Jan. 23.

Amplats reported earnings of 5.56 rand a share for 2013 on Feb. 3 after a loss of 5.62 rand a year before. It produced 2.3 million refined ounces of platinum. Impala’s profit declined by 52 percent in fiscal 2013 to 3.30 rand a share. Goodlace will get no adjustment to his pay in 2014, and Griffith a 6 percent increase on his basic salary last year of 6.7 million rand.

The total pay of Lonmin CEO Ben Magara was 703,167 pounds ($1.2 million) in the three months ended September, according to the company’s annual report. Magara was hired as the replacement for Ian Farmer, the previous chief, as of July 1.

Resume Talks

Negotiators for producers resumed talks today at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to try to end the strike after an offer of a pay increase of as much as 9 percent was rejected by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

The CCMA will meet separately with the union tomorrow, it said in an e-mailed statement. “The pace of such processes cannot be hurried,” Nerine Kahn, a director at the mediator, said in the statement.

Amplats last week told strikers they’ve lost more pay in three weeks than potential gains from higher wages.

The lowest paid would lose 4,700 rand of wages in the three weeks, the company said in an e-mail to workers on Feb. 5. Back- dated pay from July 1 last year, when the previous wage deal expired, would be 4,244 rand under Amplats’s offer, it said.

“The sooner the strike is over, the better in order to avoid further financial losses,” Amplats wrote in the e-mail.

Impala fell 1.9 percent to 120.76 rand by the close in Johannesburg. Amplats dropped 2.3 percent at 454.62 rand.

--Editors: Tony Barrett, John Viljoen, Gordon Bell