JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s deadly platinum mine strike exposed deep-rooted labour troubles in an industry already buckling under soaring production costs and depressed demand for the metal.

The illegal strike that started on August 10 left 10 dead in battles between members of different unions.

 at Lonmin’s Marikana mine outside Johannesburg. Police were called in, and gunned down 34 protesters Thursday.

The killings horrified the country and brought back memories of apartheid brutality, but analysts said the Lonmin mine incident was a culmination of troubles in the platinum mines, the largest employer in the mining sector.

South Africa sits on more than 80 percent of the world’s platinum deposits and is responsible for three-quarters of global production of the metal, mostly used in catalytic converters to cut auto pollution and in jewelry.