Just a third of workers return to Lonmin’s Marikana mine

OPERATIONS resumed in a muted fashion at the Marikana mine yesterday, as less than a third of Lonmin workers returned to work.

Across the 12 shafts at Marikana, 27 per cent of workers – out of a 28,000-strong workforce – turned up for the morning shift.

It comes despite an earlier ultimatum issued by Lonmin, which ruled that those illegally striking who did not return to work yesterday would face dismissal. The platinum firm has given those who did not turn up for work until today before dismissals are decided upon. The ultimatum was issued after a 10-day long strike that left 44 people dead, but it only applied to the 3,000 illegally-striking rock drill operators.

Lonmin was unable to give a breakdown of how many strikers and non-strikers reported to work.

Deutsche Bank now forecasts Lonmin to make a loss in 2012, expecting at least three weeks’ worth of production to be lost due to the strikes.

Lonmin shares fell for the sixth straight day yesterday, closing 4.61 per cent down at 610p. The stock has fallen from a high of 774p on 7 August.