South Africa miners strike
DATE IMPORTED:27 March, 2014Mine workers gesture as they are addressed by President of South Africa's Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa(Reuters)

A "devastating" strike at Impala Platinum's Rustenburg mine has cost the company more than $500m in revenue and shows no sign of ending, according to a company report.

The 16-week strike at Implats' main South African operation has halted production at the mine, which will not reopen until the risk of violence goes.

"The human tragedy that is unfolding as a result of our employees not earning any income and the violence and intimidation being experienced on the platinum belt is devastating," Implats said in its third quarter production report.

Reopening of the mine "will only be considered when the risk of violence and intimidation can be eliminated," the company said.

"The resumption of normalised production levels at Impala Rustenburg, once the strike ends and operations resume, are expected to take at least three months to achieve," it added.

"Consequently, no further production is expected from this operation in the final quarter of FY2014."

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) organised the strike over wage levels in January and operations have also ground to a halt at Lonmin's operations.

Four miners died last weekend and rival unions say that violence and intimidation is escalating as firms seek to bypass the unions by taking wage offers directly to employees. AMCU says it does not use violence to control its 70,000 members.

The strike is the longest and most expensive in South African mining history. Implats said it had already lost "246,000 ounces of platinum production, equivalent to revenue of 5.4 billion rand ($520 million)".

The company's employees have lost 1.4 billion rand ($134.75 million) in wages, it added.