Lonmin appeals to staff as 44 die in violence at mine

Lonmin last night appealed to its striking staff to come back to work in the aftermath of the escalation of the violence at its Marikana mine in South Africa that pushed the death toll to 44 in the past week.

The wildcat strike over pay by 3,000 workers had already claimed 10 lives amid clashes between rival unions before South African police opened fire on machete-wielding strikers on Thursday, killing a further 34 people.

Lonmin's shares continued their descent yesterday, ending the day 8.5p lower at 639.5p and bringing their total decline to 15 per cent – or about £200m – since the strike began last Friday. About half of the share price decline came on Thursday, as Lonmin was forced to issue a profits warning on the back of the turmoil, saying that the disruptions at Marikana had cost it about 15,000 ounces of platinum production. The company is now likely to miss its target of 750,000 ounces for the year.

As the situation at the mine, about 65 miles north-west of Johannesburg, appeared to be calming down yesterday, Lonmin warned those workers on strike they risked causing widespread damage to South Africa's reputation.

Simon Scott, Lonmin's chief financial officer, said: "A stable mining sector is vital to the economic future of this country. If the industry continues to be damaged by illegal actions it is not just the economy that suffers, but all our employees, their families and dependents.

"We need our employees to come back to work and we need to get mining again," Mr Scott added, before expressing his "sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those employees who have lost their lives".

Furthermore, Mr Scott pledged to do everything he could to mend relationships with staff, unions and local communities. "We must start to rebuild those relationships, starting today, building back trust and trying to move forwards," he said.

The company also raised concerns it might struggle with its debts, saying it would be closely monitoring its borrowings in the light of the disruptions.

Meanwhile, compounding Lonmin's problems further, its chief executive Ian Farmer was this week diagnosed with a serious illness and taken to hospital, leaving the company in the hands of chairman Roger Phillimore.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project