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On March 10, 20 armed men stormed a gold plant 140km west of Joburg operated by Village Main Reef (VMR), a Chinese-owned mining company. After hijacking a front-end loader, the gang overturned an armoured vehicle and broke through the wall of a smelt house, then made off with an undisclosed amount of calcine, the gold-bearing material from which bars of bullion are processed, according to industry sources.

VMR has confirmed the incident, but declined to comment, as the matter is under investigation...

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