Ministry won't back down from shutting down Optimum

Minister Ngaoko Ramathlodi has told Glencore to shut down its Optimum coal mine.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi chats to EWN at the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos, Switzerland. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Mineral Resources Ministry says it's made the right decision in ordering Glencore to close its Optimum coal mine, despite the fact that all of the mine's workers will now lose their jobs.

Yesterday, Mineral Resources Minister Ngaoko Ramathlodi said the mine must be closed because it was not following the proper procedures while retrenching 380 workers.

Glencore said it had to retrench the miners because Eskom is paying less than the full production cost for the coal from the mine.

The ministry's Mahlodi Moufhe said the fact more workers will now lose their jobs doesn't mean Glencore can break the law.

"That does not give Optimum the right to retrench workers all willy-nilly without following due process"