Glencore plans to shut Eland platinum mine in South Africa, union says

Glencore plans to shut Eland platinum mine in South Africa, union saysGlencore (LON:GLEN) is likely to close its Eland platinum mine in South Africa, as the company reviews its operations in the country, the Solidarity trade union said.

The imminent action, which puts about 1,000 jobs at risk, follows ongoing poor market conditions in the platinum sector and difficult operational conditions at the mine, Glencore said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

Reporting its half-year results last week, the mining and commodities giant revealed a $790-million impairment charge on its oil assets in Chad, and said it would cut its capital expenditure this year to preserve cash as it battles with weaker prices.

The news don't come as a total surprise for those who follow Glencore’s latest moves. In June, the Switzerland-based firm distributed its 23.9% stake in Lonmin to shareholders, after deciding it lacks the inside edge to make owning the precious metal worthwhile.

Three years of falling platinum prices have also weighed on Glencore’s plans. Besides Eland, the company has a stake in the Molotolo platinum venture with Anglo American Platinum, in South Africa.