The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says it spent R3 million on its legal action against the Lonmin and Sibanye-Stillwater take-over deal.

The R4-billion all-share transaction between the two mining giants was only finalised this week after Sibanye first applied to merge with Lonmin in March last year.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa says their efforts to block the deal delayed the takeover by thirteen months, saving jobs in the process.

He’s lashed out at the government for not backing Amcu during its bid, accusing it of being pro-monopoly capital.

“We don’t cry for the R3 million because we saved the jobs for 13 months because if you can count the amount or the salaries that we’ve saved for those workers for 23 months; it’s quite substantial.”

Meanwhile, the union said on Friday it has tabled a R17,000 minimum wage as negotiations in the platinum sector get underway.

Speaking at a briefing in Johannesburg on Friday, Mathunjwa said the union has conducted a feasibility study and was confident that the demand would address pressures brought on by the increased cost of living for workers.

Amcu is the majority union in the platinum sector and accepted a 12.5% wage increase after initially demanding 47% in 2016.

In 2014, the union engaged in a five months strike, wiping billions of rands from the South African economy, while some producers were forced to shut down shafts.

The R17,000 demand was a considerable increase from the R12,500 demand that was at the root of the strike that led to the deadly Marikana massacre in 2012.