Platinum miner Lonmin has advised that following illegal strikes by its employees across its various shafts since 13 May 2013, its management has met with the relevant employee union representatives.

The meeting was attended by the Association of Mineworkers and Counstruction Union (AMCU), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (UASA) at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in Rustenburg.

The company said that the leadership of each union has assured Lonmin that they did not call for the work stoppage and therefore do not support it.

Lonmin’s executive vice president of mining, Mark Munroe said:  “Lonmin is fully committed to achieving a fair and peaceful resolution of the dispute, although this has yet to be achieved. In the meantime, the physical safety of everyone at Marikana remains our overriding priority and must take precedence over all other matters.

“Embarking on unlawful and unprotected work stoppages puts lives and livelihoods at risk while families also suffer due to the loss of earnings.  Lonmin’s recovery depends on everyone working together to meet our production targets safely and efficiently.  As a mine community we need to work together to return Lonmin to where we believe it should be.  We have therefore urged all employees to return to work and for their representatives to continue meeting with management.

“We believe that through respectful dialogue between unions and management we will be able to resolve the issues that have been raised and maintain the excellent momentum that together we have achieved in the last six months.”

Lonmin also advised that to address any employee concerns about safety, the company has increased the number of security officials on its property.

Lonmin does not permit or condone the carrying of firearms on company property.  Anyone found guilty of this violation of company policy will be reported to the police and face disciplinary action. We have investigated every allegation of firearms being in union offices and none of our searches have uncovered any weapons.  Nevertheless, we have agreed to increase the number of random searches of offices and individuals,” said Munroe.

Meanwhile, as a result of the 2-day industrial action, Lonmin’s shares on both the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange fell by more than 5%. The stock was down 4.69% at R38.34 by 09:06 South African time on 14 May 2013.

Lonmin is expected to continue discussions with union representatives to ensure conditions for the safe resumption of mining.

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