In South Africa Mines minister appeals for calm after platinum belt protests

The minister did not name the operations disrupted by the protests but said in a statement that he would be visiting the area on Tuesday.

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Striking platinum miners sing and dance during a rally near Lonmin's Marikana mine April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings play Striking platinum miners sing and dance during a rally near Lonmin's Marikana mine April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings (Reuters)
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South Africa Mines Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi appealed for calm on Monday after saying protests around Steelpoort, on the eastern edge of the platinum belt, had disrupted mining operations in the area.

South Africa's mining industry has been rocked the past three years by periodic outbreaks of violence and labour unrest.

The minister did not name the operations disrupted by the protests but said in a statement that he would be visiting the area on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for African Rainbow Minerals, which operates the nearby Modikwa and Two Rivers Platinum mines, said the company was aware of protests in the vicinity but that its operations had not been impacted.

Other mining assets in the area include a chrome mine recently acquired by Assore.

There was no immediate comment from unions on the likely impact of the protests.

Community protests over the poor state of roads, power and other government services also erupt frequently in South Africa's poor townships and it was not immediately clear what was behind the flare up.

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