'Glencore must shut down Optimum coal mine'

The Minister wants Glencore's Optimum coal mine shut down over its retrenchment process.

FILE: Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG -Mineral resources minister Ngaoko Ramathlodi says that international mining giant Glencore must shut down its Optimum coal mine due to the way it's retrenching workers.

But the mine says it's only retrenching workers because Eskom is paying less than the production cost, for its coal.

At the same time today Eskom has announced it believes it's paying too much for coal and now wants to renegotiate its contracts with coal producers.

Ramathlodi says the mine must be shut because it hasn't followed the right procedures in retrenching 380 workers.

Nomura investment analyst Peter Attard Montalto says there is a certain context to Ramathlodi's decision.

"His big aim is to create a black majority local owned mining champion for South Africa. He wants to use these types of restructuring on asset sales in platinum as well, maybe in Anglo and others, in order to create this champion."