Cut in platinum output by Aquarius

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The Independent Online

The South Africa-focused miner, Aquarius Platinum, the world's fourth-largest platinum producer, said it planned to limit mining activities to concentrate on conserving cash and guarding its reserves until economic circumstances changed.

The platinum sector in South Africa, home to about 80 per cent of known platinum reserves, is battling falling prices, weak demand, soaring costs and a government safety drive that has cut production as operations are suspended for safety violations.

"We seem to be one of the few companies in the platinum industry that is willing pro-actively to take the required tough decisions to close the mines," Aquarius's chief executive Stuart Murray said, referring to the three mines where the company has halted operations. "I would hope other industry players follow suit and cut the unneeded production that is depressing the industry."