Worker shot dead near Lonmin's South Africa mine- police

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 30, 2013 3:21 AM

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A 49-year-old worker was shot dead at the weekend near Lonmin's Marikana mine in South Africa, stirring worries of new labor tension in the troubled platinum mining belt which has been racked by a violent union dispute over the last year.

Police said on Tuesday the shooting took place on Sunday but they could not immediately confirm whether it was related to a bloody mining union turf war over the past year in which more than 50 people have been killed.

This included 34 striking miners shot dead by police last year at the Lonmin Marikana mine.

Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum producer, was forced to halt production for weeks last year due to the fight between rival unions, the established National Union of Mineworkers and the ascending Association of Mineworkers and Construction Workers Union.

The company's finances were left so battered that it had to tap shareholders for cash. It has been battling to return to full production since.

Lonmin's shares were down about 0.4 percent in early trade on the Johannesburg bourse at 47.80 rand.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Pascal Fletcher)