Operations halted at Bokoni platinum mine in South Africa following protest

12 May 2015 (Last Updated May 12th, 2015 18:30)

Operations at Bokoni Platinum Mine in South Africa have been hit after protests at the mine site by local residents.

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Operations at Bokoni Platinum Mine in South Africa have been hit after protests at the mine site by local residents.

Bokoni Platinum Mine, which is jointly owned by Atlatsa Resources and South Africa's Anglo American Platinum, has suffered daily output loss of 700oz in platinum group metals.

The community members surrounding Bokoni mine blocked the main road leading to the mine by burning tyres and putting rocks on the road.

Atlatsa Resources said in a statement: "Employees were prevented from reporting for work as a result of the blockade and intimidation.

"Bokoni also confirms that there was damage to the timber storage yard and to the network and telephone infrastructure. Bokoni management is working closely with the South African Police Services to ensure safety and security in the region."

However, it is however not clear why the community members are protesting against as there is no formal demand being made to the mine management.

"Employees were prevented from reporting for work as a result of the blockade and intimidation."

The statement added: "No formal demands have been presented to mine management; however there was previously an approach to the mine by the Atok Interim Community Structure to engage with Bokoni on Small Medium and Micro Enterprises matters."

"Atlatsa proactively engages with business leaders through the Atok Community Engagement Forum (ACEF), which is an independent body elected democratically by community members represented under the three recognised tribal authorities."

Bokoni mine is located on the north-eastern part of the Bushveld Complex and includes seven mining licences spread across 15,000ha area.

South Africa based Baroka Tribal Mining's unit Baroka Platinum is eyeing to take over the mine from the joint venture, according to Reuters.

A source told the news agency that Baroka is preparing to offer up to ZAR1.8bn ($150m) for the purchase of Atlatsa Resources' 51% stake in the project.


Image: Bokoni mine is located on the north-eastern part of the Bushveld Complex. Photo: courtesy of Atlatsa Resources Corporation.