Troubled giant platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has again been hit by violent protests at its Siphumelele Mine in Rustenburg, involving members of the Workers Committee and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop stewards.
The incident, which has left nine mineworkers injured after Amplats security personnel fired rubber bullets in an attempt to contain the situation, occurred as a result of the workers committee memberscontesting NUM‘s legitimacy at the mine and demanding that NUM vacate its offices. The company is currently in the process of validating union membership at Rustenburg and the mines north of the Pilanesberg.
Further, three Amplats security personnel sustained injuries as they were attempting to evacuate NUM shop stewards who were trapped in their offices. Amplats said that all 12 injured employees were given medical attention.
The Siphumelele Mine is situated within the western limb of the Bushveld Complex, near the town of Rustenburg and consists of Siphumelele shafts 1, 2 and 3. In 2011, Siphumelele shafts 2 and 3 were placed under care and maintenance.
Siphumelele Mine’s life-of-mine (LOM) plan extends to 2050, as a result of the addition of UG2 Reef into the business plan for Siphumelele 1. The current LOM plan consists of a mineral resource of 15.8 4E million ounces(exclusive of ore reserves) and an ore reserve of 6.5 4E million ounces.