RUSTENBURG  - The world’s biggest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum, sacked 12,000 striking workers in South Africa Friday, just hours after one miner was killed in clashes with police. Anglo American Platinum said the miners failed to appear before disciplinary hearings “and have therefore been dismissed in their absence.” It is the latest crisis to hit South Africa’s vital minerals sector, which has been crippled by a wave of violent disputes over miners’ pay since August. Around 28,000 Amplats workers have been on strike for three weeks at the firm’s sprawling facilities in the northern town of Rustenburg, which account for around a quarter of world platinum production.

The company said the strike had so far cost 700 million rand ($80m) in lost revenue.

 In a bid to halt further losses, Amplats on Monday warned wildcat strikers that they would be sacked if they failed to attend hearings. It has now made good on that promise.