JOHANNESBURG – South African gold miner Sibanye-Stillwater said on Wednesday it will cut more than 3,000 jobs at its loss-making Cooke and Beatrix West operations, far fewer than previously planned due to restructuring plans.
Sibanye said about 2,025 employees will be retrenched and that an additional 1,350 have accepted voluntary redundancy. In August, Sibanye announced planned retrenchments of around 7,400 employees at its Gauteng and Free State operations.
Sibanye is restructuring its gold operations as the mines continued to make losses. On Tuesday, the miner concluded the section 189 process with relevant stakeholders relating to the Cooke mines, in Gauteng, and Beatrix West operations in the Free State on Tuesday.
“The decision to restructure was not taken lightly, but it is pleasing to note that we have managed to ameliorate job losses through the consultation process,” Sibanye chief executive Neal Froneman said. “We preserved employment for 3,282 people, while ensuring the sustainability of our remaining operations and thereby securing over 60,000 jobs in South
Sibanye also said that an additional 620 employees will replace contractors involved in non-critical activities across the group.
Sibanye recorded a R2.8-billion ($211-million), impairment charge relating to the cessation of the loss-making Cooke and Beatrix West operations in the first half of 2017.
Sibanye said it was not possible to define realistic arrangements to operate Cooke 1,2 and 3 on a profitable basis.
The underground mining operations at the Cooke 1, 2 and 3 shafts were then placed on care and maintenance with effect from Tuesday.
Sibanye said the Cooke surface processing plant will continue to operate for as long as there is sufficient feed material for it to be profitable, subject to various cost cutting measures being implemented, saving 132 employees that would be retained at these operations.
The diversified miner also said that through the section 189 process, its stakeholders managed to secure jobs for an additional 1,510 employees through transfers to available positions within the group and as care and maintenance personnel for the Cooke underground operations.
Meanwhile, Sibanye managed to save jobs and remain open its loss-making Beatrix West operations in the Free State through the adoption of productivity enhancement and cost containment measures.
Sibanye said Beatrix West will remain in operation for as long as it makes a profit, on average, over any continuous period of three months, after accounting for all-in sustaining costs.
Beatrix West will continue to provide employment for approximately 1,640 people and in the event that it becomes loss making, Sibanye said, both the underground operation and Beatrix 2 Plant will be put on care and maintenance with immediate effect.
African News Agency