Johannesburg, South Africa — 14 August 2012 – Shares in world No. 3 platinum producer Lonmin dropped almost 5% in London and 4% in Johannesburg today, after violence caused by union infighting disrupted operations and killed nine people at its Marikana mine in South Africa.

Reuters reports that police reinforcements including armoured vehicles were deployed at the Marikana operations about 100 km northwest of Johannesburg. Two policemen were among those killed in the violence.

“Production has been severely disrupted since last Friday as a result of an illegal strike by rock drill operators and increased incidences of violence and intimidation since then,” the company said in a statement issued here.

“Lonmin will make further announcements as matters develop and as the impact on production and operations becomes clearer,” it added.

The company emphasised the fact that the violence had nothing to do with any issues related to salaries and benefits or other working conditions at the mine.

The violence which has spread from other mines is the deadliest so far, involving a struggle for membership between the dominant National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU).

Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.