Anglo American Platinum has said it would cut 6,000 mining jobs in South Africa, fewer than half the 14,000 initially proposed, as it strives to restore profits without triggering a backlash from the government and restive unions.
The world’s top platinum producer, a unit of Anglo American, added in an announcement on Friday that it would also keep open one of four shafts slated for closure near the platinum belt city of Rustenburg.
However, the cuts will take 250,000 ounces out of global platinum production this year and a further 100,000 ounces a year in the medium term, the company said. Initially, Amplats had wanted to cut output by 400,000 ounces.
The reduced number of job losses is likely to soften the blow for South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), which faces an election next year, but it remains to be seen if it appeases the anger of powerful local unions.
Industry sources had told the Reuters news agency last week the final plan, hammered out after months of tough talks with the government, would demand as few as 5,000 redundancies.
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