Lonmin says more than half of workers back at some shafts

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2012 8:13 AM

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - More than half of the workers at some of Lonmin's South African Marikana mine shafts reported for work on Saturday, the company said, as it seeks to resume full operations in the wake of protests in which 44 people were killed last week.

"Eastern shafts are working this weekend and we have 57 percent attendance across these shafts. The rest of the mine is closed as this is their off-weekend," Lonmin, which accounts for about 12 percent of global platinum output, said in a statement.

About 23 percent of its 28,000-strong workforce turned up for shifts on Friday, which fell short of the 80 percent that the Solidarity union of highly skilled workers says is required to extract ore from the ground.

Lonmin froze mining operations earlier this month after an illegal strike escalated into violence and paralysed operations at the world's third-biggest platinum producer, driving the price of the white metal around 10 percent higher.

(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Hugh Lawson)