World Bulletin / News Desk
Fewer than 7 percent of Lonmin's 28,000-strong South African workforce reported for duty on Thursday, as the platinum producer held talks with warring unions aimed at cooling tensions and bringing people back to work.
The world's third-largest platinum producer has had its mining operations shut for almost three weeks because of a violent turf war between the established National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) that has killed 44 people this month.
That total includes 34 striking workers killed at once in a hail of police bullets, stiffening the resolve of surviving comrades to hold out until their demands are met.
"We have a 6.6 percent average attendance across all shafts this morning," Lonmin said in a statement on Thursday.
The talks to end the impasse in the platinum mining city of Rustenburg northwest of Johannesburg resumed on Thursday after dragging into the night on Wednesday.
Gideon du Plessis, deputy secretary general of trade union Solidarity, said discussions are to secure "a return to work agreement - with the aim of getting workers back to work on Monday after most funerals have been concluded."
He said the grievances raised by the striking workers would then be dealt with and finally, a "peace accord" would be reached.
Solidarity represents skilled workers and its members have not been on strike but all unions are taking place in the talks.
The 3,000 strikers who have brought things to a standstill are mostly rock driller operators demanding a monthly wage of 12,500 rand ($1,500), which would be a hike of over 25 percent of what the company says it currently pays, excluding bonuses.
In Australia, South Africa's mines minister Susan Shabangu said on the sidelines of a mining conference in Perth that the violence was undermining investor confidence in Africa's largest economy, which sits on 80 percent of known platinum reserves.
"It is a cause for concern. The tragedy does impact on any potential investments. Any investor would like to invest in a stable environment, we've got to recognize that," she said.
Lonmin accounts for 12 percent of the global output of platinum, used in car catalytic converters and jewelry.
Lonmin has said it may issue new shares to shore up a balance sheet hit by lost output and revenue, and the prospect of further losses as the entire platinum sector struggles with soaring power and labor costs and poor demand.
($1 = 8.4218 South African rand)
Traders fear Chinese government will withdraw support measures markets
European Commission president 'convinced' three-year plan will boost investment in EU
Deal aims to bolster fight against tax fraud through exchange of financial information on Turks holding accounts in US and vice versa
Vessels were delivered to port of Alexandria on June 17
The economic cost of violence according to the 2015 Global Peace Index has reached a staggering $14.3 trillion with Syria the least peaceful country.
The leading opposition lawmaker has said that Turkish President Erdogan is open to all possiblities for a coalition.
Qatar has filed a lawsuit against the leader of the National Front in France for his comments regarding "terror" activities.
Saudi Arabia will put in place an electronic bracelet system for all pilgrims visiting the country to perform their Hajj duties.
After U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank was poised to raise interest rates, European stock markets fall.
Italian company Enel will invest 18 billion euro for renewable energy sources in Africa.
Azerbaijani president said in a statement that Southern Gas Corridor project will supply neighboring and European countries for a 100 years
Oil prices rose above $60 due to Iran's call for oil production cut
Economic growth in the Euro-Zone is not at desired levels.
Director and Global Head of Islamic Finance at Standard & Poor's says that growing market for sukuk and new players mark 'significant interest' in Islamic finance.
The Ministry of Finance said that Denmark has written to China to "announce its intention to apply to be a founding member" of the AIIB.
Experts state that the crisis poses risks to the region, which is significant for oil production and exports in the world.