Aquarius Platinum said on Monday it lost 1,300 ounces in platinum group metals after workers at its Everest mine in South Africa downed tools in an illegal strike last week.

Aquarius said it agreed with the workers' union that the striking staff should go back to work, and it would go to court to seek an order to try to force them back.

Aquarius said on Wednesday that 42 machine-operating workers at Everest launched the strike. They were joined in the work stoppage by 1,300 underground employees on Thursday.

Aquarius and the National Union of Mineworkers agreed they should resume work by June 2.

Aquarius applied for and obtained a Labour Court interdict in support of this notice, the firm said.

Employees at Everest mine have only recently been employed by Aquarius and many of the labour relations tactics employed stem from a lack of experience in collective bargaining and the previous contractor/employee relationship.

Aquarius, which has most of its operations in South Africa and is listed in Johannesburg, Sydney and London, saw its stock fall 0.80 percent to 124.99 rand against a flat All Share index at 1031 GMT.

Aquarius said attributable output of PGMs for the three months to end-March fell 19 percent to 111,524 ounces compared with the previous quarter.

(Reporting by James Macharia; editing by Christopher Johnson)

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