South African precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater (JSE:SGL) (NYSE:SBGL), has delivered termination letters to over 2,000 workers at its loss-making Cooke gold mine.
The National Union of Minworkers (NUM) said through its Twitter feed on Tuesday that the company has officially begun mothballing the operation. It added the miners being sacked will hold a mass meeting at the mine tomorrow morning.
The miner, South Africa’s largest gold producer and the world’s third largest producer of palladium and platinum, had warned in August it would restructure its Beatrix West and Cooke operations, a move that was expected to affect 7,400 of its employees.
At the time, the company also said it might cut up to 330 jobs in the mines acquired from Anglo American Platinum and Aquarius Platinum.
Sibanye has since abandoned plans to close some of its platinum mines, as it achieved bigger than expected cost-savings, it said earlier this month.
The miner, which conducted a $1 billion rights issue earlier this year, halted dividend in August for the first time since it was spun off from Gold Fields in 2013, after reporting losses for the first half of the year and rising debt levels.