Police and protestors clash at Ivanhoe mine in South Africa

Police and protestors clash at Ivanhoe mine in South Africa

Police charged at demonstrators near Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (TSX:IVN)’s Platreef platinum project in South Africa, as they protested against the recently approved mine, set to become one of the world’s largest,

According to Bloomberg police officers shot rubber bullets at over 100 locals, arresting three:

“Ivanhoe Mines is confident that the overwhelming majority of people in our host communities support the Platreef Project,” the company said in an e-mailed response to queries. “The company will not be held hostage by a small group of professional, self-serving agitators whose agenda and conduct is contrary to the majority interests.”

Last month the Vancouver-based company said that it had no choice but to lay-off about 325 people at the project, after waiting more than four months for a mining permit.

But the approval in early November means that measure won’t be necessary, the company said.

Based on a preliminary economic assessment, the Platreef project could mine eight million tonnes a year yielding 785,000 ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold. According to the company, this would make it Africa's lowest-cost producer of platinum-group metals.

Ivanhoe completed an empowerment deal in September, which means that 26% of the venture in hands of local communities.