Wednesday, 16 January 2013 09:34
Platinum miner Anglo American Platinum could cut up to 14,000 jobs in a major restructuring of its strike-hit South African operations, the firm says.
Amplats plans to close four shafts and sell a mine considered unsustainable, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
"As a result of the proposed changes to the business, a total of up to 14,000 jobs may be affected, 13,000 of which will be in the Rustenburg area," 110km northwest of Johannesburg, the company said.
"As a result, the production profile will be reduced by approximately 400,000 ounces per annum with a baseline production target of 2.1-2.3 million ounces per annum.
"The Union Mines are likely to be of greater value under different ownership."
Operations in South Africa have been unsustainable "for some time" because of capital intensity, low-quality ore and rising costs, Amplats said.
Mineworkers' demands for higher wages crippled production across South Africa's mining sector last year, and resulted in violence that killed at least 50 people amid a police crackdown.
The strikes reduced Amplats production by around 306,000 ounces, but did not prompt the changes, CEO Chris Griffith said.
"The strikes were not the reason for us having to restructure the company.”
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