July 11, 2018 / 6:45 AM / 5 months ago

Rio Tinto says minerals sands operation in South Africa shut by protests

JOHANNESBURG, July 11 (Reuters) - A mineral sands operation on the South African coast run by Rio Tinto has been closed since Friday due to violent community protests which saw a security guard killed earlier this week, the company and a union said on Wednesday.

“Due to the escalation in activity around the blockades on the access roads, staff were sent home on Friday. Our highest priority is the safety of our people,” a Rio spokesman said. The operation, Richards Bay Minerals, is on South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast.

Reporting by Ed Stoddard, editing by Louise Heavens

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