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Lanxess halts operations

Police said at least 10 miners were injured after security guards fired rubber bullets at demonstrators.

Police said at least 10 miners were injured after security guards fired rubber bullets at demonstrators. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Lanxess halted operations at its Rustenburg mine after hundreds of striking workers attacked management earlier on Tuesday.

Police said at least 10 miners were injured after security guards fired rubber bullets at demonstrators.

The company said mine managers tried to approach about 500 workers to discuss the unprotected strike.

It is alleged protesters then began throwing stones at mine management.

Security guards were forced to open fire with rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Workers at the chrome mine downed tools last week demanding bonuses.

But Lanxess said bonuses depended on the company's global performance.

The latest unrest comes less than a week after workers at Lonmin's Marikana mine downed tools.

Employees embarked on an unprotected strike for two days over union recognition at the platinum mine.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) was demanding that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) vacate its offices at the North West operation.

It said NUM is no longer the majority union at the mine.

Amcu gave NUM until July to vacate the offices.

Cabinet has since appealed for calm and asked those involved to resolve their differences amicably.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is warning the country faces further job losses and business failures if disputes are not resolved.

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