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TROUBLED mining companies in the Rustenburg platinum belt are facing another crisis — drought.This may add to problems besetting companies trapped in the middle of rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.The water affairs department and North West’s provincial government have both warned of a drought in the mineral-rich province.South Africa supplies nearly 60% of the world’s platinum and rhodium and 30% of palladium.The department has warned mining companies, among them Glencore, Anglo American and Lonmin, to restrict water use.Lonmin’s executive vice-president for process and sustainability, Natascha Viljoen, said: “We are working with the Madibeng local municipality to explore opportunities to re-use water. Our current external source of water is Rand Water and the Buffelspoort canal scheme, and the rest is internal.”Amplats has suspended its use of potable water from Rand Water between 10pm and 6am until the sit...

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