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Bafokeng mine output dips on labour unrest

Royal Bafokeng Platinum says quarterly production has dipped by 1%, hit by a three-day wildcat strike and sending its shares sharply lower.

The company reported production of 621,353 tonnes for the July-September quarter, down 43,262 tonnes from the previous quarter.

RBPlat’s employees held a three-day wildcat strike in August demanding monthly salaries of 12,500 rand ($1,400), resuming work on promises that grievances unrelated to pay would be looked into.

Some of the workers then embarked on another strike in September and the mining company dismissed several of them, it said.

More than 50 people have been killed in South Africa’s platinum belt since August, including 34 strikers shot dead by police at a Lonmin mine, in a string of wildcat strikes demanding higher wages and better living conditions.

The Royal Bafokeng Nation that owns RBPlat has channelled some of the money it makes from platinum sales into social projects, which has helped stave off some of the unrest seen by other mining companies in the country.

At 0710GMT, RBPlat’s shares were down nearly 4% at 48,05 rand, compared with a 0,08% rise by the All-Share index.

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