Eastern Platinum Limited
TSX : ELR
AIM : ELR
JSE : EPS

Eastern Platinum Limited

July 12, 2009 19:19 ET

Eastern Platinum Limited: Barplats Mines Ltd. Serves Notice to End Contracts With Two Contract Mining Companies at Crocodile River Mine

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 12, 2009) - Mr. Ian Rozier, President and CEO of Eastern Platinum Limited ("EASTPLATS") (TSX:ELR)(AIM:ELR)(JSE:EPS), reports;

A news release was issued on Friday 10th July reporting the successful end to an illegal 'sit in' at the Crocodile River Mine ("CRM") in North West Province, South Africa.

Subsequent to the events of last week, Barplats Mines Ltd has served notice to terminate the services of the Contract Mining companies whose employees were involved in the illegal sit in at CRM. The contracts will terminate with immediate effect. CRM confirms that the company has brought charges against those individuals employed by the contractor companies who were engaged in the illegal activities of last week, specifically in relation to safety and health transgressions, and to the holding of other underground personnel against their will, as documented by the South African Police Services ("SAPS") from statements made by those held.

CRM intends to undertake all core mining activities with mineworkers directly employed by CRM. Currently, CRM directly employs 1,500 people and will engage the additional employees required in the immediate future. The labour compliment to be directly employed by CRM and the specific skills sets required are still to be determined.

This process is expected to have a short term impact on production. The processing plant at CRM has continued to operate at full capacity from the surface ore stockpile since the beginning of the illegal 'sit-in' that began on Thursday 9 July. Currently about 25% of production at CRM comes from the Maroelabult section, which was unaffected by the illegal action. CRM will reassign crews currently in its direct employ in order to expedite the transition of all core mining activities at CRM to 'owner mining' This will enable about 50% of current production to be achieved immediately mitigating the impact of the transition.

In line with a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") signed with the National Union of Mineworkers ("NUM") on Saturday (11th July) and with South African labour legislation, CRM will discuss its plans with the NUM to move towards direct employment for all core mining activities.

"The direct employee/contractor employee issue in the mining sector in South Africa is a complex one and is a high priority for the mining industry and the NUM to resolve. However, in light of the legal and safety issues surrounding the events of last week, we have no alternative but to terminate the services of the Contract Mining companies.

Barplats is committed to dealing with this issue in a direct and transparent manner such that we achieve the common objectives of both the company and the NUM. We will now move forward towards achieving the process of direct employment of workers for our core mining activities to create a productive relationship with our employees," stated Ian Rozier.

Total shares issued and outstanding - 680,557,369

Certain statements included herein constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. These forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions by Eastplats and as such are not a guarantee of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to factors such as general economic and market conditions, increased costs of production and a decline in metal prices. Eastplats is under no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.

No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

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