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UPDATE: 13 injured at Amplats mine

At least 13 people, including four security guards, were injured in Monday afternoon’s shooting.

Amplats miners march to Bleskop Stadium in Rustenburg on 6 October 2012. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN
Local

JOHANNESBURG – At least 13 people were injured in a shooting at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats)’ Number 1 Siphumelele mine shaft in Rustenburg, North West police confirmed on Monday.

It is understood clashes broke out between members of the National Union of Mineworkers (Num) and rival union the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

No deaths have been reported at this stage.

Police spokesperson Thulane Ngubane said four security guards at the mine were injured in the incident.

He said mineworkers were shot with rubber bullets.

Ngubane said officers were forced to fire rubber bullets in an attempt to restore order.

Some people were attacked with pangas, police confirmed.

TROUBLED MINES

More than 50 people were killed in labour strife last year, including 34 shot dead by police at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August.

The African National Congress has tried to reassure investors the strife is not undermining Africa's largest economy, which had its sovereign credit rating downgraded by Fitch last month due in part to the labour problems.

Amplats this month reported its first-ever annual loss, battered by six weeks of violent strikes last year, soaring costs and flagging platinum prices.

The company, which is 80 percent owned by mining giant Anglo American, has announced a drastic cost-cutting plan that risks sparking more labour unrest.

Amplats plans to cut 14,000 jobs, mothball two South African mines and sell another to right its ailing business.

While a turnaround at Amplats is critical for the fortunes of its underperforming parent, unions have promised to fight any cutbacks.

Amplats is the third worst-performing stock on Johannesburg's benchmark Top-40 index over the last 12 months, down nearly 21 percent.

Its shares closed down nearly 5 percent on Monday in trading in Johannesburg.

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