Amplats will not make profit at strike-hit Rustenburg mines this year

Chief Executive of Anglo American Platinum, Chris Griffith addresses a media conference in Johannesburg February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Anglo American Platinum AMSJ.J won't make a profit this year at its Rustenburg mines due to a 10-week strike, its chief executive said on Friday, although it is unlikely to declare force majeure on supplies to customers.

“If we run out of metal we will go to the market to buy it ... to supply our customers,” CEO Chris Griffith told journalists, adding that output was running at 60 percent.

Griffith also said job losses were inevitable in the strike-hit Rustenberg platinum belt.

Workers led by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) downed tools in late-January, demanding a doubling of wages that platinum producers have said they can ill-afford.

Talks, under the government mediator, resumed this week after they had collapsed three weeks ago because the union and companies - which also include Impala Platinum IMPJ.J and Lonmin LONJ.JLMI.L - were too far apart.

Following the meeting held with AMCU on the March 26, CCMA mediators will meet again with the platinum producers on March 31.

Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Writing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Joe Brock