S.Africa platinum talks resume, miners gather for rally

PRETORIA Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:53am EST

PRETORIA Jan 29 (Reuters) - Government-brokered talks between the world's top three platinum producers and South Africa's striking AMCU union continued on Wednesday as miners gathered for a rally near Lonmin's Marikana operation.

The strike - which started last week and has hit around 40 percent of global output of the precious metal - could be protracted as the two sides remain far apart on wage increases.

Wednesday is the last scheduled day of the talks with the government mediator and it is unclear what would happen if the negotiations remain deadlocked.

The strike by the hardline Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has impacted the main South African operations of Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

Mine workers were being bused in to a stadium for a rally in Marikana northwest of Johannesburg, a union source said, where AMCU leaders were expected to brief strikers on the talks.

Marikana was the site of South Africa's bloodiest post-apartheid labour incident, when police gunned down 34 striking miners in 2012.

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