April 19 Eastern Platinum Ltd suspended
funding for Crocodile River mine in South Africa, its only
producing mine, due to falling platinum prices and the labour
unrest in the country.
Spot platinum prices have fallen 10 percent in the
last year to $1,422 an ounce as demand for the metal used to
build emissions-cutting catalytic converters in automobiles has
A recovery in price of platinum group metals -- platinum,
palladium and rhodium -- is unlikely in the near term due to
weakness in the European automotive markets, the company said in
Eastern Platinum sold 14,066 ounces in the fourth quarter,
compared to 19,854 a year earlier.
The company, which holds about 87.5 percent of Crocodile
River mine, said labour unrest continues to hurt productivity
throughout South Africa, which has about 80 percent of the
world's known platinum reserves.
Eastplats shares, which have fallen 39 percent this year,
closed at 11 Canadian cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange.