2 S African mines reopen

2 S African mines reopen

Two South African mines reopened on Monday after labour strife forced them to suspend operations last week, but striking miners vowed to keep operations run by world No 1 platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) shut.

Wage talks were set to resume in a bid to end a violent 5-week strike that has killed 45 people around the Marikana mine of platinum producer Lonmin, bringing its production to a halt and pushing up the price of the precious white metal.

The unrest has its roots in a bloody turf war for members between an upstart union and the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) but it is now unclear who the strikers are taking their direction from.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets over the weekend as part of an operation to disarm miners, implementing the government’s decision to get tough on strikes that choked off platinum output in the world’s top producer.

The army has also been brought in to help restore order. Aquarius Platinum’s Kroondal mine and Xstrata’s chrome operation near the platinum belt city of Rustenburg restarted on Monday.