UPDATE 1-Protests halt output for 3rd day at Atlatsa's S.Africa JV mine

Wed May 13, 2015 6:43am EDT
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JOHANNESBURG May 13 (Reuters) - Canada's Atlatsa Resources halted work for the straight third day on Wednesday due to protests near its South African joint venture mine, a company official said.

Prudence Lebina, head of investor relations at Atlatsa said the stoppages were costing the Bokoni mine - a joint venture with South Africa's Anglo American Platinum - about 700 ounces in platinum group metals output daily in lost output.

The unrest at the Bokoni mine started on Monday when some members of the community near the operation blocked the main road leading to the mine with burning tyres and rocks.

It is unclear what the community is protesting against.

Atlatsa said it had not received any formal demands from the protesters.

"This is the last thing the mining industry needs right now, it really is, indeed, a pity. But we are doing everything we can to try and get to the bottom on the issues," Prudence Lebina, head of investor relations at Atlatsa said.

The mine, the only operating asset of Toronto-based Atlatsa, is a takeover target of South Africa's Baroka Platinum, part of the Baroka Tribal Mining business founded to help the impoverished Ga-Nkwana community.

Shares in Atlatsa were little changed at 1.50 rand in Johannesburg by 0858 GMT, while Amplats inched up 0.3 percent to 321.25 rand.

($1 = 11.9702 rand) (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by James Macharia)