South African union leader says mine strike in platinum sector to end after 5 months

The leader of a South African union of miners who have been on strike for five months says an agreement to end the strike has been reached.

The South African Press Association on Monday quoted union leader Joseph Mathunjwa as saying a deal with platinum-producing companies will be signed on Tuesday and workers will return to work by Wednesday.

The companies — Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum — estimate the strike has cost several billion dollars in lost earnings for workers as well as company revenue. The industry is a pillar of the struggling South African economy.

South Africa is a major producer of platinum, which is used in medical, electronic and other industries.