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Amplats axing over 400 jobs in South Africa

Amplats axes over 400 jobs in South Africa

Rustenberg Base metals refiners, South Africa. (Image courtesy of Anglo American Platinum)

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said Tuesday it plans to cut more about 420 top jobs at its Rustenburg Platinum Mines unit in response to the dark outlook for the sector.

The world’s No.1 producer of the metal, which is already trying to unload four of its platinum mines as part of a restructuring, said it had already issued notices to start 60 days of talks about the cuts and said these consultations will end on Aug. 22.

Last year Amplats and its two largest competitors in South Africa, which has the largest known reserves of the metal, were hit by a strike that reduced output for five months but did little to offset a drop in prices — platinum has declined 25% since the strike ended a year ago.

The proposed restructure will consolidate the Tumela and Dishaba mines as well as the Amandelbult concentrator, while the Mogalakwena mine and concentrator will also be combined and redesigned, Amplats said. Regional functional centres at Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Polowkane will be closed, with their functions incorporated into the adjacent operations and corporate office.

The ongoing reorganization won’t affect the Rustenburg and Union mine operations that the company plans to dispose, the miner added.

Upcoming spin-off

Anglo American Platinum will spin off the South African mines it has been seeking to unload for some time now of into a separately listed company, a union leader told Bloomberg.

The miner has previously said it’s still deciding whether to sell the mines or list them separately.

“We’ll be making an announcement this quarter on which exit route we will be taking,” Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole confirmed to Bloomberg.

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