LONDON: ARAB NEWS
Saturday 18 August 2012
Last Update 18 August 2012 1:59 pm
Platinum prices spiked this week as deadly violence costing the lives of 34 people struck a platinum mine in South Africa.
Gold prices fell after an industry body said global demand for the precious metal had fallen to its lowest level in two years on weaker buying in main markets India and China, despite rising demand from central banks.
Platinum prices hit the highest level since early July, at $ 1,462.50 an ounce, owing to the violence at a platinum mine in South Africa run by London-listed miner Lonmin.
The metal’s price has risen about 4.0 percent since Thursday.
South African President Jacob Zuma Friday announced an official probe into the deaths of 34 workers.
“We have to uncover the truth about what happened here. In this regard, I’ve decided to institute a commission of inquiry. The inquiry will enable us to get to the real cause of the incident and to derive the necessary lessons too,” he said.
Police opened fire on armed workers staging a strike at the Marikana platinum mine, run by London-listed Lonmin, near the northwest mining town of Rustenburg.
“It is clear there is something serious behind these happenings and that’s why I have taken a decision to establish the commission because we must get to the truth,” Zuma said.
“This is unacceptable in our country, which is a country that everyone feels comfortable in. A country with a democracy that everyone envies.”
“This is a shocking thing. We do not know where it comes from and we have to address it,” he said.
After the extent of the casualties became clear yesterday, Zuma cut short his visit to neighboring Mozambique for a regional summit and flew to Marikana for a briefing from police and other authorities.
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