South Africa: 3rd platinum mine closes

Associated Press
Striking mine workers armed with machetes, sticks and spears march to a smelter plant at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, Wednesday, Sept, 12, 2012 to deliver a memorandum to mine management and to ensure that workers had not reported for duty. Miners are refusing to return to work until their demands over low pay and working conditions are met. Strikes are spreading to nearby gold mines. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A third platinum mine closes in South Africa even as police disperse strikers outside, acting within hours of the government vowing to end violence spreading in the crucial mining sector.

Xstrata Platinum Ltd says it temporarily suspended operations at Kroondal mine Friday "to ensure the safety and security of employees and assets" amid "rising tensions and protests."

The mine employees 5,300 workers who apparently were threatened by strikers outside from Anglo American Platinum.

Talk Radio 702 reported police used tear gas. Aquarius denied that.

The South African Press Association said police arrested at least one striker who was herded by a helicopter into the arms of officers on the ground.

It is the first time police acted against protesters since they killed 34 strikers Aug. 16 at Lonmin platinum mine.

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