Leaders of South Africa’s platinum mines have said the nine-week long strike by workers has caused ‘irreparable’ damage and has cost the sector nearly $1bn.
Miners at Anglo American Platinum, Lonmin, and Impala Platinum want their pay to be doubled.
But the companies said they cannot afford to meet the workers’ demands.
The strike has damaged mining communities in the platinum belt northwest of Johannesburg, they said.
“Mines and shafts are becoming unviable; people are hungry; children are not going to school; businesses are closing and crime is increasing,” the companies said in a joint statement.
The sector had lost “close to 10bn rand ($920m) in revenue lost” they said.
Discussions between the AMCU union and the three biggest platinum produces have come to a halt.
But the companies said they were open to talks “within a reasonable settlement zone”.