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Impala Platinum Gains After Production Rises: Johannesburg Mover

Impala Platinum Holdings Co., the second-largest producer of the metal, gained the most this month in Johannesburg trading after saying output grew by 17 percent.

The stock rose 2.1 percent to 142.79 rand, the biggest gain since Oct. 30, by the close of trade. The city’s benchmark FTSE/JSE Africa All Shares Index was 0.6 percent lower.

Refined platinum output climbed to 454,000 ounces in the fiscal first-quarter ended Sept. 30 from 388,000 ounces a year earlier, Johannesburg-based Impala said today in a statement.

Still, production continues to be curbed by the effects of labor unrest and a recovery in output targeted by the end of the quarter wasn’t achieved, the company said. South African gold, platinum, coal, iron-ore and diamond mines were hurt by a wave of wildcat strikes over pay demands in the last four months.

Impala’s Rustenburg site, its largest, was halted by a six-week strike in January and February and is still operating as much as 20 percent below fiscal 2011 levels, the company said.

The average price received for the metal during the quarter fell 19 percent to $1,444 an ounce, while costs climbed 35 percent to 15,326 rand ($1,730) an ounce after wage increases and currency movements, the company said.

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