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Amplats: Operations hit by violence

Johannesburg - Workers at Anglo American Platinum's Rustenburg operations in South Africa are likely to stay away from work on Tuesday following violence at the mine the previous day, a spokeswoman for the company said.

At least 13 workers were wounded by rubber bullets or machetes in fighting at Amplats' Siphumelele shaft following clashes between rival unions in the first major violence this year after deadly strife in the sector in 2012.

“It looks like most of the shafts in Rustenburg (will be affected),” spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole told Talk Radio 702.

The unrest is likely to unnerve investors in Africa's biggest economy, home to the world's largest known reserves of platinum.

Amplats this month reported its first ever annual loss, battered by six weeks of violent strikes last year, soaring costs and flagging platinum prices.

The company, 80 percent owned by mining giant Anglo American , has announced a drastic cost-cutting plan that risks sparking more unrest. It plans to cut 14,000 jobs, mothball two mines and sell another to right its ailing business.

Its shares closed down nearly 5 percent on Monday in trading in Johannesburg. - Reuters

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