VANCOUVER, CANADA – Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) has condemned actions by a number of known trouble-makers who instigated a confrontation with police near the site of the company’s Platreef Project near Mokopane in South Africa’s Limpopo province today.
The organizers encouraged some residents of nearby communities to gather at an access roadway with false claims that the company would be recruiting workers for construction at the site, where the company is planning to resume work following the activation of a mining right, or licence, for the project by the Department of Mineral Resources earlier this month.
One of the organizers was Aubrey Langa, whose previous threats and involvement in violent actions aimed at disrupting company relations with host communities, and his criminal record, were noted in an Ivanhoe statement issued on October 8 this year (http://www.ivanhoemines.com/news/news-releases/ivanhoe-mines-responds-to-misinformed-and-damaging-comments-contained-in-bloomberg-story).
The incident ended after the South African Police Services’ public order unit dispersed the illegal gathering. Ivanhoe Mines staff had no involvement in the police action. Approximately 100 area people were at the scene. An initial report distributed by Bloomberg News today incorrectly claimed that the gathering involved 500 people and did not present key facts relating to the incident; the story subsequently was modified.
Ivanhoe Mines is confident that the overwhelming majority of people in the host communities support the Platreef Project. The company will not be held hostage by a small group of self-serving agitators whose agenda and conduct is contrary to the majority interests of the area communities that will benefit from the jobs and socio-economic development that will flow from the development of a major new underground, mechanized platinum mine. A trust representing 20 host communities, with an estimated total of 150,000 residents, holds a 20% interest in the Platreef Project through terms of a broad-based, black economic empowerment structure that was established earlier this year (www.ivanhoemines.com/news/news-releases/ivanhoe-mines-announces-platreef-project-less-than-br-greater-than-in-south-africa-s-limpopo-province-n-672728).
Bill Trenaman: +1.604.688.6630
North America: Bob Williamson +1.604.512.4856
South Africa: Jeremy Michaels +27.82.939.4812