Aquarius Tumbles to Record After Mine Attack: Sydney Mover

Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) is set for a record low in Sydney after the company suspended operations at a mine in South Africa because of an attack by an armed mob that left three people dead and at least 20 others injured.

The stock plunged as much as 13 percent to 49.5 cents and traded at 50 cents as of 10:34 a.m. local time. That would be the lowest since the Perth-based platinum mining company began trading in September 1999.

Around 200 people, some armed, forced their way onto the Kwezi shaft, a production unit at the Kroondal PSA mine in the North West Province, throwing petrol bombs and threatening the lives of employees, Aquarius said in a statement dated yesterday. About 450 workers were evacuated and police have taken charge at the site, the company said.

Aquarius, which also operates in Zimbabwe, relies on its South African mines for 75 percent of its fiscal 2011 sales, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Kroondal, which began production in August 1999, is Aquarius’s biggest mine, according to the company’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Soraya Permatasari in Melbourne at soraya@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net; Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net

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