An unidentified mine worker sits on a rock at the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg.

Reports from South Africa say that workforce attendance at the Lonmin Marikana mine at 4.5-percent across all shafts as the mine reopened Monday morning, the lowest since the the August 16 massacre that killed 34 striking miners and wounding 78. The report comes following the dropping of charges and release of 270 arrested miners charged with those murders.

Unrest continues as police used tear gas and rubber bullets to turn back a group of about 60 mineworkers at the Gold One mine at Modder East near Johannesburg who was blocking the roads and throwing rocks at vehicles trying to enter the mine area. Four miners were reported hospitalized by police actions.

Fear of national mining disruption continues as strikes spread to gold mines in South Africa. Local business leaders are afraid that the strikes will hurt South African mines in the long term causing a ripple effect in the economy. South Africa is the world’s third leading producer of gold behind China and the United States.

Market analysts have been reporting that since they see South Africa as an “investor-unfriendly” country that most investments are in exchange-traded funds (ETF) that helps balance the risks.

Gold futures for December delivery rose $9.60, or 0.6-percent, to $1,697.20 an ounce in electronic trading today. London Gold Fixing PM price was $1,691.50, up $5.50 from the AM fix or 0.3-percent. U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

AP Photo/Themba Hadebe of striker courtesy of IOL Business Report.
Gold Production graph courtesy of ZeroHedge.

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