Lonmin miners return to work as woman dies

LONMIN miners returned to work at troubled Marikana yesterday, as it was confirmed that a woman died after allegedly being shot in the knee with a rubber bullet last weekend.

It is understood that the woman, who died on Wednesday, was shot by police last weekend at Marikana. It brings the total death toll at Lonmin’s mine to 46 people.

A South African police spokesman said that six people were injured last weekend as police used rubber bullets and tear gas at the mine.

Earlier this week, Lonmin offered the protestors a pay rise, which was later accepted, to end the six-week standoff that has crippled production levels.

A Lonmin spokeswoman said the situation at Marikana yesterday was very calm, and the miners had reported for work with no trouble.

Meanwhile, Anglo American Platinum yesterday issued a notice to its employees stating that if they did not report for work by yesterday evening, legal avenues will be pursued. Attendance at its Rustenburg mines is currently below 20 per cent.

“All the company’s Rustenburg operations and the Bathopele mine have resumed full production. The company continues to be disappointed with the low turnout rate at four of its Rustenburg mines,” the world’s largest miner of the silver metal said in a statement.

It highlighted that its Rustenburg operations were under “considerable economic pressure” and the illegal strikes were making the mines even less financially viable.

Lonmin shares closed down 6.29 per cent at 610.5p.