Continued clashes at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa have left a further seven people dead, witnesses say.

Police opened fire after miners carrying machetes refused to drop their weapons.

The platinum mine has been at the centre of violence since Friday 10 August when riots claimed the lives of eight Lonmin workers and two policemen.

It was initially reported that the clashes started over a turf war between rival unions the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, following a strike by Rock Drill Operators.

But, AMCU has since demanded a pay rise of 12,000 rand ($1,500) per month, reports the BBC.

A statement from Lonmin said the striking operators remained armed and away from work.

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By GlobalData

"The illegal strikers have today (Thursday 16 August) been issued with a final ultimatum to return to work by their next shift on Friday 17 August or face dismissal," the statement continued.

As a result of the disruption, Lonmin has lost six days of mined production, representing approximately 300,000 tonnes of ore, or 15,000 Platinum equivalent ounces.

The company said it is "unlikely" it will meet its full year guidance of 750,000 saleable ounces of platinum, although the extent of the variation from guidance will depend on "the timing and speed with which normal operations can safely resume."