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South Africa mining unrest fears grow

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 02:04

Aug. 23 - Families of the 44 miners killed in Marikana gather for a memorial, while the mining companies worry about further union action and investors on production capacity. Joel Flynn reports.

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Mourning their loved ones. Thousands gather to remember the 44 miners who were killed in South Africa last week. Anger over the deaths is growing - and some of it is aimed at mine owners. (SOUNDBITE) Family member who lost two children, Baba Goloza, saying (Xhosa): "I blame the mine, the very same company that hired them neglected them. They could have resolved the situation." Since labour unions began strike action at Lonmin's Marikana mine platinum prices have risen, stoking worries about investing in Africa's biggest economy. Nik Stanojevic is an equity analyst at Brewin Dolphin. (SOUNDBITE) Brewin Dolphin Equity Analyst, Nik Stanojevic, saying (English): "I would say Lonmin is not alone in its union relations. In South Africa, and especially in platinum, there have been difficult union relations for a very long time, so I wouldn't be surprised if other companies had problems, but at the same time I don't think Lonmin is alone in its union issues." Anglo-American, the world's top platinum producer with 45 percent of global supply , said on Wednesday its South African workers had demanded higher wages. Labour action at one of Royal Bafokeng's mines has also halted production there. Platinum prices are now at their highest since early May with little sign of a fall. (SOUNDBITE) Brewin Dolphin Equity Analyst, Nik Stanojevic, saying (English): "The market remains oversupplied. This obviously has caused a rally in prices because production has been disrupted. However, going forward it's not enough to change the supply and demand balance, and I think the market should not do too well going forward." President Jacob Zuma visited the Lonmin mine on Wednesday . With South Africa holding around 80% of the world's platinum how he - and mine owners - handle this crisis will be crucial Joel Flynn, Reuters.

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South Africa mining unrest fears grow

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 02:04