Amplats slashes 7,500 roles in turnaround bid

Suzie Neuwirth
ANGLO American yesterday confirmed that it has already axed 7,500 jobs out of a planned 14,000, as part of the restructuring of its struggling platinum subsidiary.

The FTSE 100 miner, which owns a majority stake in Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), announced in January that it would be cutting 14,000 jobs by 2016, as union strikes continue to cripple South Africa’s platinum producers.

A spokesperson told City A.M. yesterday that 7,500 of the roles had already been slashed, after the firm closed three of its oldest and highest-cost platinum mines.

The company has been under intense pressure from the government and the unions to curb the number of staff cuts.

Amplats posted its first-ever annual loss of £450m last year, after strikes impeded production at its Rustenburg mines, northwest of Johannesburg.

The militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), usurped the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) this year as the biggest representative of workers at the three largest platinum miners in South Africa – Amplats, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

Wage negotiations between the companies, Amcu and the other unions are yet to be resolved, with some fearing a resurgence of the violence seen during Summer 2012 that killed around 50 people in the mining sector.

Anglo American’s shares closed 1.2 per cent higher at £13.25 on Friday.